A 6 Step Plan Anyone Can Do, Including You In life and business, you are far less likely to reach a goal without a plan. This includes your marketing strategy! In order to start 2019 strong and carry the momentum through to next December, invest your time into planning the year. This begins by taking a look at 2018 and ends with using those lessons to shape upcoming campaigns and get results.
Reflect on 2018’s Success and Failure
While we never want to live in the past, the best way to create an actionable plan for 2019 is to reflect on what went well (and not so well) this year. This includes reviewing your marketing materials, customer feedback, and metrics, all of which offers a comprehensive look at each campaign. Focus on the data first, then bring in the corresponding content to draw correlations between messaging and your ROI. This is your opportunity to gather the data for researched goals. This is also your time to really focus in on why a campaign didn’t work. It could have been poor timing, market changes, or poor execution. It could be internal or external to your team. Whatever the answer is, use these insights to grow as a team heading into the new year.
Review Your Personas
Your buyer personas guide every piece of content you create, and the end of the year is the perfect time to review them. If 2018 brought a pivot, new experiences, or other connections that changed your target customer, it’s time to reinvent them. Consider what you can use, and what you need to update. Use the tools at your disposal like Facebook’s Audience Insights, Google Analytics, and internal surveys to help you redesign the personas that will help you reach your goal in 2019. Make sure you include how they use your product or service, the problem they need to solve, and their demographic and psychographic information. From here, you can shape campaigns that reach those important to your company.
Establish Your Goals for 2019
There are two types of goals to establish for 2019: marketing and business growth. These are related, so your marketing team should work with the executive team to support the business goal with the marketing goals. (And vice versa.) These marketing goals could include: • Increase leads by X percent • Work with X number of influencers • Reach an X percent ROI. Because you have all your data from your yearly review, you can set these goals as realistically or as aggressively as you would like. Setting goals without data is like trying to make Christmas cookies without a recipe. You’ll be sad, the dog will try to eat the leftovers, and Santa won’t come to the house. Let’s not let that happen. Use your data well and you’ll be on your way to a successful 2019. Once these goals are established, it’s time to move onto the exciting part: planning!
Begin Planning with a Yearly Overview
Perspective breeds growth and innovation, which is why we always recommend planning a year at a time. This takes your overarching year-long goal and keeps you focused on the necessities before digging into individual campaigns and content needs. This year-long plan should map out the timing of: • Product releases • New product campaigns • New retailers or partnerships (if applicable) • Influencer campaigns (if applicable) If you’re launching a product in June, then this yearly overview should mark the product release, when the teaser campaign starts, and the timing of the post-launch campaign. This brings the many facets of a marketing plan together into one timeline so you can ensure a unified strategy. It’s tempting to run after new ideas mid-year, but it’s essential that you keep your goal top of mind. When you do, you can run after the right ideas, be it new technology, social media channels, or PR opportunities. Now that you have the year mapped out, it’s time to get into the details for each campaign and product focus periods.
Begin Planning Campaigns and Product Focus Periods
It’s important to note that you aren’t planning every detail of every campaign and focus period. Rather, we’re establishing the timing, messaging, and asset needs. And most importantly: when planning and content creation needs to begin for each campaign. Backdate each campaign on your plan so you have enough time to establish specific needs, create the necessary content, and obtain approvals. If you need to outsource content creation or campaign management, give yourself time to find an agency and complete the onboarding process before the content creation needs to begin. While you want to plan thoroughly, this also isn’t the time to get bogged down in the details. Focus on the overarching needs, and establish the timeline for when you do need to plan the details. Once these plans are complete and you’ve set your campaigns, it’s time to get into each channel and how it can help you accomplish everything you want 2019 to be.
Determine Your Marketing Channels
Contrary to some business owners’ belief, you don’t need to be everywhere online. We would much rather see a company executing well on two platforms than half-heartedly on four. This balance between visibility and ability to execute is why your marketing plan also needs to focus on your marketing channels. These channels include: • Direct marketing • Print advertising • Digital advertising • Website and blog • Workshops and webinars • Social media • Content offers • Public relations • Trade shows and events • Internal communications If your resources are particularly limited or if your product doesn’t fit into some of these categories, focus on the three to four platforms that would be most beneficial. Digital advertising is, if done well of course, an affordable and effective way to reach potential customers. If you’re looking to become a thought-leader in your space, blogging offer this while also improving your inbound marketing results. We recommend every company maintain a social media presence, whether that’s just Instagram or Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Review this list with your team, and determine which outlets could be most beneficial. Then rank them from most important to least important. Reference that ranking whenever you create a marketing plan for a product or other goal so you know where to focus your energies. The better you prioritize your needs, the better you’ll execute on your plan and reach your goal.
Now is the Time
Make 2019 the year you execute your marketing plan to get the results you’re looking for. From goal-setting to personas to the right channels for each campaign, we encourage you to use this guide to align your team with your goals. If you’re looking for an experienced partner to reach those goals you’ve set, let’s chat.