Can You Finish Your Marketing Plan for 2012 in Less than One Hour?

Marketing Tactics Planning WorksheetUse this marketing activity worksheet to plan your 2012 calendar of marketing tactics
This marketing activity worksheet makes tactic planning easy

Are you “so close” to finishing your 2012 marketing plan, but just can’t quite get it done?

If you’re running a small business, you may be looking at pulling together all the components of your 2012 plan.

Or maybe you got started on the 2012 marketing plan but are still busy finishing up the measurements for 2011. No matter where you are, this is the week to finish your 2012 plan.

10 tips to help you get your marketing plan done so you can move on to the next challenge.  

Still in the brainstorming phase of your 2012 marketing plan?

  1. May I suggest a simple tool that I’ve found very effective for organizing your marketing:  The simple Post-It note.  AKA “the stickie notepad”. Don’t worry about the color, or the size.  But instead use the pad as a brainstorming tool. 
  2. Ask yourself “What works?” What tool did you use the past year or 3 that really worked?   Write each tool that comes to mind on a separate sticky. 
  3. What do you “have” to do?  You know, the tool that you’d love to drop because it’s a pain, or expensive, or old fashioned… but can’t get rid of because it’s so effective. Maybe there are a few of them.  Write them on a sticky.  One tool, one sticky.
  4. What have you wanted to try, but didn’t have time?  Perhaps it’s something new (a QR code?) or a modification of something existing (your email newsletter, but with an embedded video link?)
  5. Next: Put 3 giant Post-Its from a Post It pad the size of a flip chart up on your office wall.  Label each one with one marketing objective.  Perhaps your goals are: Attract new customers.  Sell new products to current customers.  Win back former customers.  Only you know what you need to accomplish in 2012, right?
  6. Now, brainstorm again with the stickies with your goals in mind.  Take a look at the stickies you’ve filled out from the first round.  Do they fit in one or more of your goals?  If the answer is no, why are you using that tactic?  If the tactic fits more than one goal, write it again on a separate stickie.
  7. Place the stickies on the pad, under the goal that they help to reach.  Place a number on them for the quarter you’ll use the tool or the number of times you’ll use the tool in 2012.
  8. Use the Marketing Activity Worksheet to plan the tactics by quarter or by month.
  9. Get someone to type up your goal with the tactics under it.
  10. Almost done.  Now. How will you know you’ve succeeded? With measurement.  Jot down the KPI (key performance indicator) measurement that you’ll use for the measuring stick. 
  • For a tactic, it could be the number of times the brochure was sent out, or number of impressions of a press release printed in your industry’s trade journal or number of opens/ number of forwards for an email.
  • For a goal, it may be the number of phone calls or email inquiry’s, the number of appointments with specific potential customers, or the number of proposals presented.

BONUS: For the marketing professionals who ALREADY have a measurement tool in place:

Work on honing your marketing based on the results:

  1. Look at where did most of your 2010 and 2011 leads came from.  Depending upon how you capture your leads and new customers, can you see where most of the leads that closed came from?  How about most profitable projects by customer?  Do you see a trend?
  2. What marketing programs did not return an investment?  Sometimes it is difficult to really figure out where the customer found you when they say “internet”, does that mean your website? Google results? Social media? 
  3. Still not clear? Consider modifying your measurement tool for 2012 if it is vague. At a minimum look at Google Analytics, your website keyword phrases for entering the site and for exiting.  How many click on the contact page?  How many RFQ quote forms came into your email?

Set a timer for one hour and attack your marketing plan with one or more of these ideas.  You’ll be surprised at the result!

How do you finish your 2012 planning for your marketing activity?  Do you use tools like this?  Let me know what you find helpful.  Post it in the comments below so everyone can benefit.  Thanks!