Before going into 2017 owners, presidents and their senior team finalize their objectives for the upcoming year. The over-arching strategic plan for 2017 will be focused on achieving results right out of the gate.
To properly develop a marketing strategy for the year, we need to clearly understand the overall company objectives and our marketing plan needs to be supportive of the company goals. We need to ensure our plans will enable the company to be successful.
We also need to incorporate activity that will support the company’s customer/client retention objectives as well as attracting new customers – what are the targets for each? What have we done in the recent past that has generated results – just as benchmark? What is our current success rate by medium or activity? Has our target market/ ideal client changed or been up-dated; how will that affect what we choose to do? There is a myriad of relevant questions to be answered – hopefully this has been done before now and your targets are clearly identified.
Your plans need to conform to SMART:
Then you need to answer these questions;
- “What do we do?” – specifically and how is it valuable to our target?
- “For whom do we, do it?” Who exactly – with specificity do we best serve?
- “How do we excel?” What is our unique selling proposition?
- Is there a natural cycle to your business? What months, occasions or timely events are more likely to generate sales activity?
Marketing is all encompassing and includes all activity that generates leads and ultimately sales. Many marketers focus on media and do not incorporate networking and relationships building into their planning process; for 2017 these activities play an ever-increasing role in driving longer-term business success. Where does your Ideal client hang out? What organizations should your team be members of to meet your ideal clients? These activities must be part of the planning process, be funded and measured.
The utility of a web site is ever increasing and for 2017 a web site needs to be part of the lead generating and sales activity. Inbound marketing, interactive relationship building and sales can all be expected from a current and relevant web site – and budgeted and measured. Social Media needs to be deployed to support your web site and broaden your reach. The use of video has never been higher and should be a consideration within the planning process.
While digital marketing is continuing to grow its spend and reach; there should also be consideration for other traditional forms of advertising activity. What role might television, radio, print media, magazines; brochures and PR play in achieving your results? Membership and attendance at industry events, the role of speaking in building your reputation, and genuinely supporting charities all have a role in play in building a strong brand profile.
All the above need to be thought out documented and coalesced into the marketing strategy. One key phrase has never been more relevant to 2017 – It takes extra-ordinary effort to get ordinary results!
Planning is important but execution is everything.
Plutus Consulting Group