With 2019 rapidly approaching, it’s time to put some serious work into next year’s annual marketing plan. We may be all about the tactical here at JABR, but before we can start implementing, you need a plan to guide everyone’s efforts!
According to Smart Insights, 49% of businesses have no documented digital marketing strategy, despite engaging in digital marketing. Having a documented strategy can mean the difference between next year’s marketing efforts paying off or not. Research from CoSchedule found that marketers who document their strategy are 538% more likely to report successful outcomes than those who don’t.
What makes an annual marketing plan so integral to the department’s success? It provides a unified vision for the next year. By clearly laying out what the department will do (the strategy) and how it will do it (the tactics), the entire team can share ownership over why they’re working so hard in 2019 (goals and KPIs). The annual marketing plan can—and should—be a motivational tool to inspire the marketing team to start the new year with a confident stride.
With that in mind, let’s look at how to create a marketing plan that will ensure your marketing operations is as productive as possible in 2019.
The First Step to Crafting Your Annual Marketing Plan
Though budget may be the first thing that comes to mind, it’s best to start your annual marketing plan by laying out the goals you aim to achieve and the KPIs you’ll use to track those goals. Your goals—whether it’s to target new customers, enter new markets, or further customer relationships—will determine how you allocate your time and budget over the next year.
Setting the Right Strategy
With your goals in hand, the next step is to figure out a strategy that will help you achieve them. A good strategy, according to G2Crowd, requires (among other things):
- Research: An in-depth understanding of your company, the market, and your competitors is the foundation of any strategy.
- Product: As the lifeblood of your marketing efforts, understanding how the company’s products (or services) work and why people buy them is critical.
- Customers: Besides needing customers as buyers, you need current customers to help you understand how to sell to future customers.
Once you’ve done the foundational work to create a strategy, it’s time to decide what it will take to meet your goals. If your goal is to increase the company’s revenue, will you focus on acquiring new customers or upselling to current customers? Nailing down the right tactics to get the job done is an essential part of any marketing plan before you’re ready for tactical support from a fractional marketing manager.