20 Questions to Answer When Developing Your 2018 Marketing Plan
In the middle of all the chaos that is December, it can be difficult to be thinking about your marketing plan for the coming year. But now is the right time to make sure you are ready for January and the year ahead.
If you are a small business or solo entrepreneur, you do not have to feel like these are just exercises that big companies do. You may not have a million dollar marketing budget, but every penny you spend is just as important, if not more so than those big companies.
If we do not plan well at the beginning of the year and then are not mindful throughout the year, we will find ourselves potentially very disappointed by the end of the year.
So find a couple hours to follow four areas and answer these 20 Questions to ensure you are ready for the new year with an awesome marketing plan!
Review Your 2017 Marketing Goals
Before planning for the year ahead, take some time to reflect and analyze what went well this past year.
What were your marketing goals?
Did you meet these goals or did you adjust them a few times throughout the year?
Did you see growth where you wanted to?
Did you hit your targets?
There is no point moving on to 2018 if you haven’t worked out the good and the bad for 2017.
Review Your 2017 Budget
Now is a great time to see how your marketing budget did (even if your year-end is not Dec 31, you can take a look at where your budget is currently at). Make a complete list of all the different ways you spent your marketing budget this year and answer these questions:
Did you spend more or less than what you had anticipated?
Was the money you spent a good investment?
How do you measure a good return on investment in your business?
What changes should you make for 2018?
Review Your 2017 Marketing Content
This should include looking back at all ads you ran, your business cards, your logos, your social media content, etc. Anything that is being produced to represent your company and its brand.
Did you stay on brand this year in everything you produced?
Do you like the message you are portraying through your marketing materials?
Is your website up to date and performing well?
Take a really good look at everything you did this year. At 365 Day Media Group, we recently decided to tweak the colours on our logo just slightly to better reflect our company. Small change, but gave us a real lift in what we are wanting to portray. It was important that we made that change to ensure our company goals and our brand were closely aligned with our overall marketing plan.
Plan Ahead for 2018 Marketing Plan
After you have reviewed everything, then take what you have learned and start putting your thoughts down for 2018. Some questions to ask yourself and your team include:
What are your 2018 goals?
Are they S.M.A.R.T. goals?
What products or services will you be offering?
What events are you holding or attending?
What are the costs for each of these? Is this reflected in the budget?
What marketing materials will you need for 2018?
What changes do you need to make to your website to bring it up to date?
What social media will you be using in 2018, and will this require the purchasing of some digital ads?
Have you started thinking about a content schedule for the year?
Once you have answered all 20 questions then you are on your way to being ready for 2018!
At 365 Day Media, we have developed a great Marketing Planner tool that helps us work through each step with our clients. It acts as a master brainstorming document. We are all about lists and calendars and content scheduling, so we like to have everything in one place. But use what you find fits bests for organizing your plans.
Need help with developing your marketing plan for 2018? We would love to help you! CLICK HERE to contact us.
This week’s blog was written by our CEO Tami Tate. A small business owner since 1998, she loves working with entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes on their marketing.