Tag Archives: marketing plan

Preparing Your 2016 Marketing Plan

2016 marketing planHave you been keeping up with your 2015 marketing program?

Perhaps your plan called for posting weekly in social media for your company and sending out a press release quarterly.

Are you on track with the plan… or did it get derailed?

I’ve seen companies put together a very aggressive marketing program at the beginning of the year with many trade shows, print ads, keynote speaking engagements, and other expensive or time intensive tactics.

Much like many January New Year’s resolutions, those over-achieving plans can get derailed when reality of the day-to-day, month-to-month workloads take hold.

And just like those resolutions, you shouldn’t just throw in the towel because things haven’t worked out the way you wanted them to. Now is the time to take stock of your 2015 marketing plans, get done what you can for 2015 and update your plan for 2016.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What worked? What didn’t get done but would have worked?
  • Do you need to have your 2016 marketing budget set? Now is the time to get quotes and estimates for next year.
  • Does your 2015 marketing budget disappear if you don’t use it? Don’t waste the opportunity to get your business off to a strong start in the New Year.

Take time today to review the 2015 plan. Look for the activities that will set you up for a strong 2016.

Preparation now will provide rewards down the road.

Taking Baby Steps in Marketing: Or Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time

Today’s post is for the small business owner who manages under 5 employees:

If you run a small business and are trying to juggle many tasks, trying to write an entire marketing plan in one sitting can be daunting. Unless you’re just updating an existing plan, it just doesn’t make sense.

And implementing a marketing program doesn’t happen overnight either!

Put together a system to create your marketing program. Figure out a way to execute it and measure it. Who was it who said “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step”?  Or “eating an elephant begins with a single bite?”

Here’s one way that might work for you:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with your marketing (build awareness, generate inquiries?) These are your marketing goals.
  2. Identify your target market. Who exactly are your trying to reach?
  3. What matters to them? 
  4. How can you help them?
  5. What methods of communication influences them?

Make a chart by clicking on the image below. Print it out for your one page implemention plan. Write 1,2,3,4,5 under the calendar and jot down your answers to the above questions.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  1. What’s the one new marketing tool that will most help our business this year?
  2. What’s the easiest new marketing tool to implement?
  3. What’s our most effective marketing tool to date?
  4. What should be working but isn’t because it needs “tweaking”?

Write another 1,2,3,4, on the  bottom of the page and list your answers.  Now you’ll plan to do:

  • the most effective tool first quarter (and second and third and fourth!)
  • the easiest tool to implement second quarter.
  • the tool that will most help your business third quarter.
  • tweak the broken tool during 4th quarter.

Write this in the boxes. Break down the steps needed for each tool, assign one person of your group (including yourself) a step along the way.  Your goal: Each month of the quarter forward motion in your marketing.  So many people don’t do anything because even starting feels overwhelming.

How will you know that the task is accomplished and the marketing is working?  Here are some ideas for making sure it gets done and is working:

  • Create a checklist
  • Hold a marketing meeting for 15 minutes each week to track progress
  • Have a status report of results easily accessible on the shared drive
  • Use a white board to track progress

Each small company operates differently.  What works for you?