How Do You Build Awareness of Your Brand in a World Filled with Marketing Clutter?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the choices online? Have you ever started to create an online media plan and thrown up your hands in frustration?

Planning your brand building program is the crucial step in creating a marketing action plan that achieves your goal.

Otherwise you do a little of this, a little of that and get distracted by something over there. It’s like going to the grocery store without a list or a menu during the weekend before Thanksgiving. You’ll spend so much time wandering around the store, spend more money than you wanted to and still not have something to eat each night when you get home from work.

If you don’t have your brand building plan in place for 2011, take an hour today and put together the beginnings of a your marketing plan.

Figure out who is coming to dinner: What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to be aware of your brand? What do they read? Who else influences them? Narrow down your target market as much as possible. Age, geography, gender, title, habits, hobbies, history, psychological, social, size of company, number of employees, all the key attributes that may separate your target market from the general population.

Create your menu and make the grocery list: Include the protein, carbs and vegies. In other words: PR, advertising and social media. Don’t go wild, but make sure it integrates together. Your advertising theme, your press releases, website pages, blog post themes, Twitter tweets, Facebook fan page posts and social media status updates should all work together. Just like having too many similar dishes of mashed potatoes, whipped potatoes, sweet potatoes and boiled potatoes on the Thanksgiving table doesn’t work, you’ll need to use different mediums to share a similar message.

Develop the timetable:We’ve all heard the stories about forgetting to take the turkey out of the freezer until Thanksgiving morning! Don’t do that with your media plan. Figure out what the lead time is for your projects and create a gantt chart. You can do it with simple x’s in excel by putting the projects down the left column and the months of the year along the top row. Then just put an x in each of the months that you’ll be working on the activity.

Create the budget: Sometimes you will want to swap out more expensive items for something less costly. Or you don’t have enough people resources to cook this giant meal, so you choose to pick up the pies from a baker. For each of the x’s estimate the time in people hours and the cost to execute your plan. Then modify until it fits your approximate budget.

How is your 2011 marketing plan shaping up? Do you know what you’ll be doing in to achieve results for 2011 and 2012? What steps will you take today to make a difference in your brand awareness tomorrow?