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It All Starts with a Plan: How to Make the Most of Your Marketing in 2017

Posted by PCC Small Business Development Center on November 07, 2016

2017-marketing-planning.jpg2017 is upon us! That means now is the time to develop your marketing plan for the new year, so you can hit the ground running on January 1st. We’ve put together some tips for creating your marketing strategy.

Budget

Budget for success. 

  • When you’re planning a marketing budget for 2017, meet with your team and take a look at what worked, and what didn’t, in your 2016 marketing efforts.
  • What opportunities should you add?
  • What are the budget and growth projections for your company in 2017?
  • How will you allocate your 2017 marketing budget? Determine how much you will spend on sales, promotion, advertising, and publicity.

Review

  • Review your target personas to ensure they align with the direction you expect the company to go in 2017.
  • Take a look at the buyer’s journey and review the ways you should be reaching your target persona at different stages.
  • Review your marketing collateral — website, online marketing strategy, and social media presence, as well as printed materials. Analyze how your message is integrated across channels and ensure that copyright dates are updated, style guidelines are being followed, and everyone is using the same version.
  • To what extent are your sales driven by the internet? Are you solely an e-commerce business or a brick-and-mortar business? If your sales process is more of a hybrid, a mix of both traditional methods and internet sales, determine the percentages for each.

Define

  • Define what makes you different from your competitors. Why do your customers choose to buy from you instead of someone else? What might make them decide to take their business elsewhere?
  • Analyze the information developed through your review process and define a realistic approach for your 2017 marketing planning.
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Plan

Identify your key campaigns for the year. 

  • Ensure that your team understands the needs of your target market, and identify the products and markets you want to promote.
  • Determine which communication channels will work best. For an e-commerce business, how will you drive website traffic? For the more traditional sales model, will you reach out to customers on a personal basis, such as through phone calls or meetings, or use non-personal methods such as newspaper ads or direct mail campaigns?
  • Determine your marketing objectives. Do you want to grow sales or are you looking to increase brand awareness? Is the purpose of this campaign to grow market share or is it to target new customers? Maybe your objective is simply to increase profit. Knowing your objectives before you launch your campaign is essential to determining the effectiveness of the campaign.
  • Develop your message and decide how you will integrate the message across different communication channels.
  • Decide how much of your promotional budget will be spent on each campaign.

Track

It’s crucial that you have defined metrics for measuring success. You should review progress on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis, and compare year-over-year results.

 

Now is the time to start planning for 2017. This can be a time-consuming process which requires focus, so don’t put it off until the last minute.

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Subscribe_PCC_CLIMBThe Oregon Small Business Development Center Portland Community College has  helped thousands of businesses over the past 30 years. We combine one-on-one  advising with programs taught by business experts, giving our clients the  resources they need to grow their businesses. We’ve celebrated many successes  with our clients. We'd love to celebrate your success. 

Topics: Small Business, Growing a Business, Sales & Marketing

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