‘Tis the season to think about the year ahead and how you can best maximize those marketing dollars (and your ROI). Let’s face it; it’s not easy looking into that crystal ball. To lessen the time spent developing your plan as well as to improve the plan’s accuracy, consider the following marketing planning tips:
1) Spend some time upfront evaluating the past year’s campaigns and initiatives. What went right, what went wrong and what can be improved upon?
- Time Saver for 2013: Consider conducting a post-mortem of each campaign after it happens throughout the year to reduce the time spent evaluating in December. Document the highs and lows of the campaign, the results and ideas for next time.
2) Actively seek what the company’s goals are for the coming year and double check your plans are in agreement.
- Involve all key stakeholders early on in the process.
- Being a part of the sales planning process is extremely helpful! If the opportunity presents itself, take it! If you aren’t invited to the party, ask for the invitation!
3) Take a close look at your expenditures last year and be honest. What can you live without and what do you need more of?
- Time Saver for 2013: If you are not currently doing this, track your expenditures for the year on your actual marketing plan so you can easily see estimated costs vs. actuals (and make adjustments as necessary for next time).
4) Realize that despite all the upfront planning, your marketing plan must be flexible enough to allow for new tactics and opportunities that you could not plan for ahead of time.