Soon everyone will be counting down to a new year, and before the clock strikes 12 you should spend some time getting your business ready for 2018.
Developing a marketing strategy at the end of the previous year is vital to your business’s performance through the new year. It takes assessment of your current performance, identification of your customers’ expectations and understanding marketing trends that can positively shape your bottom line. In short, the overall process centres upon working out what did (and didn’t) work in the previous year, and reimagining the new year with older and wiser eyes.
One major aspect to remember throughout all those meetings and email exchanges is that your marketing strategy is there to create a clear indicator of the goals you would like to achieve with your marketing efforts, as well as the supporting factors that will go into this and the monetary expenses to budget for. It is a realistic, coordinated and comprehensive guide that best equips you for achieving your desired outcomes in the new year.
Don’t leave it until the last minute – start shifting your focus to your 2018 marketing strategy now.
1. Research and Set Representative Benchmarks
Identification is the main crux of this step, and to develop a plan you must first research the positives and negatives of your last marketing strategy. There are several points that need to be addressed, such as:
- The opportunities and trends that could shape the strategy
- Your current market position, and that of your competitors
- The analytics you gained over the year
- Your main target audience
By recognising these, you will be able to gain an understanding of what you could be doing and achieving with your marketing efforts. Take some time to evaluate the year, and set yourself up to thrive in 2018.
2. Establish Realistic Goals
It is all well and good to aim high with your marketing efforts, but over-establishing goals can have a negative impact on both your team and your overall strategy. Really narrow down the main things you would like your business to achieve in the new year, and ensure that 12 months is enough time to fulfill them.
One of the main drivers behind any strategy is the budget you can allocate towards it, and for that reason it is important to strategise with your budget in mind. This will ensure you are investing money wisely and in a way that will generate the best ROI.
4. Develop Tactics and Implementation
When the time comes to actually develop the strategy, sit down and identify the different pools of your target audience. In the breakdown, categorise the audience by the channels they use and how best to translate your business message to them. From there, select the tactics you will use within your strategy to achieve your outlined goals. Find ways that you will stand out amongst the sea of likewise companies, and narrow down on the road to victory. Now, create the team that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
5. Measure and Evaluate
You need to know how you will measure your success. Ensure that everyone on your team has the knowledge to identify what is going well throughout the year, and give them the space to re-evaluate the strategy if necessary. Awareness of failures can help you develop new ways to succeed!