What to consider when creating your annual marketing plan

If you’re anything like the rest of the United States, 2016 felt like a blur of confusion and last minute decisions. If you approached your 2017 marketing plan in the same way—with confusion and last minute decisions—we’re here to help you clear the air and start 2017 off with a marketing plan that is truly solid.

Here’s what you should consider when creating your annual marketing plan:

  1. How effective was your 2016 marketing plan? Be truthful. Start with a complete copy of your 2016 marketing plan and work from there.
  2. What should you keep from your 2016 marketing plan and what should be removed due to lack of results? Keep what was working, remove what wasn’t and note changes on what could have worked had you put in a little more effort, marketing dollars or resources into it.
  3. What’s your brand’s overall situation? When was the last time you performed a brand audit or a brand refresh? If it’s been a while, start 2017 off with one.
  4. What are your sales goals for 2017? What sort of percentage increase is required to meet those goals? Put that goal at the end of your marketing plan, and note incremental increases every quarter. It will keep you on task.
  5. What are the marketing trends emerging from the end of 2016? A new social media platform? A new design trend? If it makes sense for your industry, business and client-base, note the upgrade and schedule it for early in the year.
  6. What is work you should always be doing, each and every month? Think about social media activity, thought leadership, sales touch points. This is work that should be ongoing throughout the year. Don’t assume you’ll stay on task. Note it over and over and over in your marketing plan.
  7. What events do you have coming up this year? Note everything from holidays to tradeshows to internal development meetings. Executables will either be required in preparation for those events or will come out of those events. Make sure you have bandwidth allotted for them.