Listen, although 2020 felt like it lasted 25 years, it’s still hard to believe that we are wrapping up this roller coaster of 12 months.
As companies prepare for 2021, crossing their fingers and wishing for a better Q1… it is important to start thinking about marketing strategies and plans for the next year. Without ideas and a solid goal for your company, it is very unlikely that things will change.
Reasons that making a marketing plan is important:
1. It organizes your goals and provides clear plans of actions to achieve them
2. It keeps everyone on track and on the same page
3. Promotes motivation and accountability
I know making a marketing plan can sound time consuming, and a little complex, but it doesn’t have to be! I am going to walk you through the steps of making clear cut goals and plans for 2021 (with some actual examples!).
Our team is great at making notes of things that need attention, whether it's good or bad. We keep open lines of communication on things that are going well, or may need some extra work. It is important for everything to bring their ideas together, no matter how big or small. I suggest keeping a notepad with things / ideas you have for your team moving forward, and organize them in a way to present to your marketing team.
2. Team meeting
Now it is time for a group session to compare ideas, talk about what should be the priorities and get approval on anything needed. These meetings are super beneficial, because it is always refreshing to see if your team’s ideas mimic yours, or perhaps they even have some additional great ideas.
3. Start building your plan
There are ample amounts of templates and checklists that you can find online to ensure that you’re including important information on your strategy plan. Some of the things I recommend including are:
Of course your main table of contents - easy to view for your team
Company mission - WHO ARE YOU?
Product Overview - what are you offering your clients?
Goals / Challenges - we all have them, don’t be shy
Target market - Who are you working for?
Expansion Plan - how will you make it to the next level?
Upcoming Actions - Making a clear timeline for the next year. It is important to make the timeline obtainable... in other words, don’t make goals that are impossible to meet.
Other important topics include additional small actions, goal timeline, campaign calendars, advertising outlets, social media platforms (and the importance, utilization for each one).
So making a powerpoint or pdf presentation for your team will allow all of the ideas and goals to come together and be available in one place. I am a big checklist type of person, so in addition to my marketing plan, I always create a document.
4. Create a spreadsheet
A spreadsheet doesn't have to be fancy, but it holds the team accountable, and we are able to make notes so that we can track the status of certain actions. This also helps me stay on track, and know what actions need to be executed next.
Something like this for internal works just fine:
5. Budget & Execution
It is extremely important that your team supports the marketing efforts. It is also important to know what your marketing budget will allow. Will you have additional funds for new goals? Will you need to reduce funds on other outlets to allow for new ideas? These are things that will need to be discussed with your financial department.
This is a good reason to create a marketing metrics / budget spreadsheet to track these items. I will share my examples on this in a future blog.
So, once your team is on the same page, and they have clear goals…. IT’S GO TIME. Start working on your plan of actions and preparing to let them fly. For us, some of our goals will take some prep work, so we are gearing up in Q4.
Hopefully, you have helpful ideas that you implement on your marketing plan… maybe it’s something I haven’t thought of (i’d love to hear yours! Email me - firstname.lastname@example.org). Either way, I wish everyone good luck on their strategies, and may all of your goals come true in 2021. If you’d like more insight on any of the ideas I have included, feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to chat!