As a business owner, you’ve probably spent countless hours researching, studying and planning for a wide range of scenarios, from your website and social media presence to your brand’s standards and unique selling points. But, if you haven’t put an annual marketing plan in place, your business can only grow so much. Think of your marketing plan like a roadmap — it guides your decision making and helps you promote your business and brand.
A study from Marketo shows that the smaller a company is, the less likely they are to have a marketing plan in place. The study shows that only 56 percent of small businesses (50 employees or less) have a marketing plan, while 81 percent of larger companies (more than 1,000 employees) have a plan in place. With 2018 right around the corner, why not start the new year with a new focus?
Here are five reasons why your business should implement a 2018 marketing plan.
At the end of the day, you want to be successful and grow your business, right? Well, your annual marketing plan is going to help you meet your goals and grow revenue. How does it work? By planning out your marketing strategy, you can ensure that your marketing efforts increase during peak times, like holidays and noted shopping times like Black Friday and Tax-Free Weekends. If you know consumers are going to be in the spending mood, it can only benefit your business to ensure that they are seeing and hearing from your business. Remember though, you need to enact your marketing efforts before the peak season. Your competitors will be targeting consumers, and so should you.
In addition to taking advantage of holidays and peak shopping times, you should consider using awareness campaigns and action campaigns as part of your 2018 marketing plan. These campaigns will help you raise awareness about your business throughout the year, as well as drive your target market to act, whether you want them to visit your website, social media accounts, or come into your storefront to take advantage of a sale or promotion — ultimately leading to increased sales.
Increase Marketing Momentum
By starting your 2018 marketing plan in January, you’re going to steadily see an increase in your marketing momentum. It may go without saying, but the key is to plan, plan, and then plan some more. If you don’t plan in advance, your marketing efforts will be too little, too late. There is no bigger danger to your marketing efforts than on-and-off marketing. Your target market and potential clients should hear from you on a consistent basis so you can stay top of mind.
This is where a marketing calendar can help. If your marketing calendar is strong, then you’re in a position to be proactive and you’ll know exactly when you should be sending out those print flyers or launching a radio campaign ahead of your big anniversary event or huge summer sale. When you can run down the weeks and put checks in the boxes, you’ll be amazed at how much more time you have to invest in other aspects of your business.
Increased Web and Foot Traffic
If a wise man tells you there’s a guaranteed way to increase your web and foot traffic you’d listen, right? Well, in this case, that wise man is your annual marketing plan. Think about the brands that you follow, whether it’s Coca-Cola, Apple or Audi. They are consistently finding ways to stay top of mind. You hear their commercials on the radio, watch their commercials on TV, see their ads on your social media feeds and thumb past their attractive creative when you’re flipping through your favorite print publications.
Your business should be doing the same. If you don’t consistently touch your target market and remind them that you offer an incredible service or product, more than likely they will forget you. Your marketing plan spells out exactly how you are going to stay relevant and how you are going to stay top of mind.
Much like consistent marketing helps your brand stay top of mind, it’s also going to help your business gain trust in the increasingly crowded marketplace. When consumers are in the market for a new product or service, they tend to lean towards brands they are familiar with, brands they have a connection with, and brands they trust.
By starting your annual marketing plan early in the year, you can implement strategies that will build a lasting connection with your target market and potential customers throughout the year. Think of your marketing efforts like a candle that keeps on burning. As consumers continue to see your marketing, whether through your website, on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, in print, or on the radio, they’ll gain more and more trust in your business. Remember, your customers want to know who you are, so be sure you are connecting with them and sharing stories they can relate to or how your products or business can solve their problems.
Now that you know how an annual marketing plan can help your business grow and stand out, it’s time to get the ball rolling on your 2018 marketing plan. With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to keep the momentum rolling into the new year.
The marketing team here at Zimmer Communications has the expertise and experience to help your business create a dynamic marketing plan. We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us and see how we can help your business succeed.