2015 Marketing Resolution #1: Plan Ahead

Happy 2015! We are excited to get this year off to a great start, which is why this month we will be sharing some 2015 Marketing Resolutions. Whether your marketing is top-notch or you’re just getting started, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to focus on your marketing goals and how to achieve them. Throughout the month of January, we will be posting the top resolutions you should make, along with helpful tips on how to achieve them. Check here often to follow along with all of our posts.

Marketing Resolution #1: Plan Ahead

For small businesses, marketing can often become an afterthought. Small business owners spend a great deal of time managing their company operations and employees, and marketing can seem like secondary priority. This year, make a resolution to carefully consider your marketing and create a strategic plan. According to a study by Marketo, small businesses are the least likely to have a documented marketing plan. The research shows that only 56% of small companies (fewer than 50 people) had a marketing plan, compared to 82% (more than 1,000 employees) of large companies.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, research has shown that companies with a documented marketing plan are nearly twice as likely to stay on strategy, and documented plans go a long way toward increasing overall satisfaction with marketing efforts. Ready to create a new marketing plan of your own or update your existing plan for 2015? Follow our simple tips!

Simple Steps for a Successful Marketing Plan

  1. Set realistic goals.
    Think carefully about your marketing goals for 2015 and set realistic expectations for your efforts. Break down your goals by quarter or month to create a step-by-step outline of what you want to accomplish. Setting unrealistic goals is like setting yourself up for failure, so focus on truthful, achievable numbers.
  2. Stick to best practices.
    No matter what type of marketing goals you have set or what type of campaigns you hope to create, take some time to learn, understand, and stick with industry best practices. As technology and trends change, best practices often change as well. The beginning of the year is a great time to refresh yourself and your staff on the latest best practices and make a goal to stick to them throughout the year.
  3. Look at the big picture.
    Don’t let your marketing efforts become disconnected from other aspects of your company and its goals. Take a step back and look at the big picture: your marketing efforts should be broad and cross-functional. Look for opportunities to incorporate your marketing into your everyday operations.
  4. Explore new methods.
    Do you exclusively use print for your marketing? Are your efforts entirely digital? If you’re only utilizing one channel, consider ways to incorporate new marketing strategies to achieve your goals. If you primarily use print marketing, think about continuing conversations online with social media or email marketing. If your website does all the talking, direct mail could help you reach a new audience and increase traffic.
  5. Evaluate and adjust.
    When creating your marketing plan, it’s especially important to build in time for analysis and adjustments. Throughout your marketing efforts, collect relevant data and then take the time to analyze the results of your efforts. Evaluate whether or not your campaigns have been successful, and course-correct if needed.

Are you ready to take these steps towards a successful marketing plan for 2015? Our talented marketing strategists are here to help. Call us at (301) 725-8000 to learn about our marketing strategy solutions and our 360° approach that can meet all of your marketing needs.