What to Consider When Planning Your Annual Marketing Plan

Solomon Thimothy - February 17, 2011

If you’re like most business owners, you think of marketing initiatives on a yearly basis. It is this crucial planning that dictates how your marketing dollars will be spent for that particular fiscal year. Prior to putting together your marketing plan and allocating funds to the various marketing channels your business uses, consider these tips for better results.

We learn from our mistakes, at least we hope we do. Before you even start thinking of what your marketing budget for the coming year will look like, make sure you do a full analysis of the past year’s marketing plan. Analyze the success of each individual medium to decide whether the strategy needs to be updated or eliminated all together.

Set Timelines
Timing is everything. Your particular industry dictates much of you marketing efforts. Retail stores, for example, must align themselves with major holidays and seasonal changes. When putting together your marketing plan make sure you take into account major events and dates that affect your business or organization.

Choose Marketing Channels
After careful analysis of past years’ marketing campaigns, you should have a clear idea of what marketing channels work best to reach your target audience. Additionally, remember to consider new marketing channels that may be easily integrated into your existing marketing plan. For example, if you are currently sending out a paper newsletter, consider moving to an email newsletter or adding social media to your marketing plan.

Create Your Budget
This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of creating your marketing plan. How much money should be allocated to each of your marketing efforts? The amount you allocate to each medium should be proportional to the ROI you expect from that particular medium. For instance, if direct mail marketing is your most successful marketing component, it should have the largest budget.

These are the backbone of your marketing plan, and they are essential to ensure a successful year ahead.

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