With the new year fast approaching, it’s time for proactive integrated marketers to start looking at 2017 marketing planning that incorporates organizational goals, budgets, customers, growing digital marketing trends, and current successful promotional efforts.
A recent article by EMM Group lays out the top five elements to consider when building an effective strategic 2017 marketing plan that drives business results. The article suggests that rather than simply outlining marketing tactics, planning should take a more inclusive approach to the coming year’s marketing and business goals, including determining the quantifiable metrics that represent success.
Undertake a thorough assessment of current activities. This typically includes a SWOT Analysis for a snapshot of the state of existing efforts. Marketing Maven suggestsmeasuring tactics, engagement, and branding competencies to identify gaps in performance, the quality of leads and contacts, and the efficacy of current strategies, tactics and budget.
Set SMART marketing goals for 2017. This isn’t a wish list, but a carefully curated list of measurable goals based on the assessment performed previously. This data helps to inform the organization of audience attitudes and behaviors, and the likely ROI of proposed efforts.
Create strategies based directly on the findings of the assessment—good and bad. This article discusses building a strategic marketing plan that considers brand and market positioning, audience demographics, and a realistic budget with deadlines. It also lays the groundwork for later decision-making and re-evaluation, if needed.
Get Down to Brass Tactics
Lay out the marketing tactics that will best help the organization execute the above. All tactics should support the strategic marketing plan—discard those that don’t meet the criteria, as outlined here.
When determining budget allocation, take into consideration the successes and challenges identified during the assessment. In their ‘how-to’ planning guide, Entrepreneur.com reminds integrated marketers not to be afraid to adjust tactics if the initial plan exceeds budget goals.
A Success Story
Review a real-world example of the benefits of marketing planning here. NIVEA FOR MEN skincare products followed the marketing planning steps outlined above, and through careful analysis, goal setting, and strategic and tactical planning, they experienced a successful market expansion and recognition in the field of men’s skin care.
An effective, well-considered, and data-driven approach to marketing planning benefits the entire organization. By executing the five steps outlined, companies will not only prepare for 2017 success, but will more effectively create unity between business goals and marketing activities.