So it’s the first week of the new year. Many people make resolutions that include exercising, eating better and improving their health. What about the overall health of your business? Have you made any resolutions for that?
Have you created a marketing plan for 2016? There’s no better time to review last year’s performance than now. Here are four steps that will help you develop a great plan that includes goals, tactics and anticipated results.
List your business goals
The first step for the new year is to list your company’s goals. Is growing sales the main objective? Maybe increased customer service results, or reduced employee turnover? Have you quantified your goals? Growing sales is a nice idea; growing sales by 10% is a goal.
Determine your targeted customer for each goal
There are key customers that affect every goal and you need to know who they are before you can plan any marketing efforts to reach them. For example, growing sales by 10% might mean focusing more on your core customers or developing an alternate revenue stream. Reducing employee turnover might involve improved communications.
Decide on the methods you want to use
There are multiple marketing methods to reach your targeted customers. Develop a list that includes methods you’ve already used (social media, direct mail) as well as those you haven’t (maybe new sales materials or radio). With some methods you may be able to expect specific sales results (advertising campaigns usually yield immediate results) while others may be used to increase awareness.
Focus on specific tactics
Now you can determine exactly which marketing tactics will help you support each method, reach each customer and realize every goal. If direct mail is one of the communication channels you’ve committed to, what will you promote, how often, and to whom? What are the anticipated costs?
Businesses should develop marketing goals on an annual basis in conjunction with all other company goals and objectives. Then, build a marketing plan every year, with course corrections and revisions along the way based on performance. The best way to ensure a happy, prosperous new year is to plan for it now.
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