Why do we plan for any goal? We plan when we believe in something, want to see a change, have identified a problem, see room for improvement, or decide that it’s time we commit mentally and financially. When these items align or when one is strong enough to influence the others, we plan for whatever that goal might be and commit. Marketing for any business is very much the same.
October to December is the perfect time to plan for your 2019 marketing budget and strategy and commit to new campaigns, platforms, or partners. Follow this six-point checklist to start your 2019 marketing plan.
Don’t think about budget yet! Instead, think big. Think creative. Think outside of the norm.
Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Is there a certain area of your business that you want to grow? Do you want to open a second location? Do you need a new website or a brand refresh? The goals are endless. Start with understanding your current audience, whether that’s through your CRM/POS, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights. Research what your competitors are doing and understand how to strategically and fairly combat them. Now, prioritize your goals from most important to “would love to.”
Once you have established your goals, get realistic. Come up with a base budget that you can realistically commit to for six months. Make it slightly lower than what you know you can commit to allow room for unexpected community events, sponsorships, high-performing campaigns, boosted posts, etc. Be wary of long-term contracts when you are making commitments and always negotiate for the best deal.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Tracking your results is just as important as setting goals and establishing a budget. You must be able to understand what is working and know how to track, measure, digest, and optimize your campaigns. Data is your MOST VALUABLE TOOL. Be sure you have trackable forms and phone numbers for each campaign and designate specific landing pages for optimal tracking.
While growing your customers is important, don’t forget the ones who got you where you are today. After all, what is new growth if you lose your current audience? Slice out part of your strategy to communicate to your existing customer base. They will recognize it, appreciate it, and spread the love.
First Impressions are the Real Deal. While marketing is most definitely trial and error, meaning you will try things that don’t work until finding what does, BE PREPARED. Having a plan for growth means being ready for the increase in marketing, business needs, and goals that come. Plan for the business you want, not the business you have. Fix what isn’t working now so you are ready for growth.
I hire someone to do my hair, clean my teeth, advise me on my health, and even workout at a coach-led studio because they know better than I do. You do not need to go outside of your budget to afford hiring an agency or a consultant – we understand how to maximize budgets and will advise you for the best budget spend. When you hire an agency or consultant, make sure they treat your business as if they are a part of it.
Your next step is the most important. If you are looking for guidance in planning your 2019 marketing budget, reach out to us. We appreciate you taking the time to read and wish you the best of luck on your 2019 Marketing Ventures!