Hopefully you have a business plan outline started for 2014. Almost every successful business owner will tell you that having a plan and some strategy set in place before the new year will help get off to a strong start. Without experience though, you may not really know what this plan should entail.
Below are 5 tips you should apply now to create a strong 2014 marketing plan:
1. Figure out where you stand presently. – It really is true! In order for you to move forward, you have to figure out where you are right now. This means taking a serious look at the inner workings of your marketing and social media plan. Doing an internal and external audit of where your business really is, and not where you think it is, will give you a real picture of where you stand. This would also be a good place to examine your strengths and weaknesses. What are you doing right and what have you done that hasn’t worked?2. What are you trying to accomplish? – Too often businesses think that if they advertise everywhere and post everything on social media, they will magically receive countless leads, more loyal customers and increase their bottom line. In order for you to craft the right messages to get concerted results, you must identify what outcome you are looking for and then proceed to target the right market with the right message through the right medium.
3. Identify your target market and plan how to reach them. – The best way to identify your target market is by investing the time to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an example of a real person you need to influence crafted from information you retrieve from interviews you conduct with customers or potential customers, or website and social media analytics you collect from your website or social media business page.
4. Have clear objectives and goals and research, research, research. – Be specific about your objectives and goals. Do they align with your business’ mission and priorities? How will you get there? Which team members will be accountable for implementation? What are your competitors doing? Research is a critical component that too often is left out of the planning process. Research is a continual part of the process that you have to take time to achieve if you want your overall plan to be succinct and, most of all, successful.
5. Evaluate. – You’re not done. You must evaluate. Put benchmarks in place (i.e. quarterly) to review what you’ve done, measure your success, research some more and evaluate your successes and failures.
In order to get the highest ROI you need to take the time to create a plan and actually follow through with it.
Do you create a business plan every year based off of your triumphs and failures or do you take a different approach?