Preparing for the holidays usually involves basting turkeys, festive decorating, and gift wrapping, but what about devising a marketing plan?
Chances are as the holiday season ushers in many business owners set aside creating marketing plans until after Jan. 1, due to the time and effort that is required to create it. This often leads to the New Year Plan Rush—that is, hurried and thrown together strategies and tactics that are absent of ingenuity, direction, and effectiveness. Successful marketing plans are well thought out, creative, and empower profitably that will pack a punch in the marketplace.
Here are a few tips on how to create an easy, dynamic, and compelling marketing plan.
Research and Test Various Marketing Platforms
The holidays are a perfect time to test drive areas to market without affecting your brand. Take the time to examine different marketing platforms including mobile, direct mail, email and social media to gain a thorough understanding of its functionality in comparison to your business. Decide which one(s) are worth reviewing in more detail to help you build a more focused marketing plan. Experiment with your selected platforms by either observing how others are using it or by creating your own sample marketing efforts (postings, emails, text messages, etc.) in order to determine which will be more effective. Remember, it is not suitable for every industry to have a presence on every platform, so make sure you select platforms that will be powerful in promoting your business.
Devise a Simple Plan
Create a simple one-page marketing plan that is succinct and easy to manage. Start by deciding what one thing you want to achieve and make sure it is measurable and realistic. Once you determine a goal, select a target audience to focus your marketing efforts on and stick with it. Don’t be lured by trying to reach everyone, remember, the simpler the plan, the better the plan.
Next, decide what type of campaign and which effort(s), based on your research and testing, will help you reach your target and achieve your goal. Keep in mind that some strategies and tactics are better for certain audiences (i.e. millennials respond to social media; baby boomers respond to more traditional marketing.) so choose your tactics wisely.
Lastly, create a calendar that will map out when you will begin and end your marketing plan so that you can schedule your efforts in a timely manner to reach your goal.
Making a real impact in your marketing requires execution, don’t waste your time and energy on something that will just sit on a piece of paper. Be prepared to implement your plan on Jan. 1 so that you give yourself enough time to evaluate it for improvements. In addition, you will already have a format that can be used continuously that will take you less time to plan and easier to magnify results.
Sherron Washington, M.A. is a marketing strategist, author, speaker and CEO of the P3 Solution, a full-service marketing and communications agency that specializes in providing strategy, design, and social media marketing solutions for businesses. Follow her on Twitter @thep3solution