Don’t procrastinate. Finish your 2017 marketing plan
It’s a new year, and it’s time to finalize your 2017 marketing strategy. What Should You Include In Your 2017 Marketing Strategy?
Any comprehensive marketing strategy considers several important parts: goals, budget, target audience, marketing channels, and more.
A good strategy always starts with goals. When you have a clear idea about where you want to go, it’s easier to get there.
So begin your 2017 marketing strategy by outlining what you would like to accomplish this year. List your basic marketing objectives, which may include a few of the following:
Build brand awareness
Expand into a new market
Target new customers
Develop brand affinity and loyalty
Grow digital presence
Launch new products or services
Grow market share
Once you pinpoint the general goals you want to focus on, set clear objectives for each goal. Use SMART goal planning to develop each of your plans, so they are:
Shape the rest of your 2017 marketing strategy using this initial list of goals.
Next, focus on the investment you would like to make in your marketing in 2017. As you set your marketing budget, consider a few factors.
What industry are you in? How much are your typical competitors spending, and what do you need to spend to compete?
Should you outsource SEO, or any other part of your strategy to free up resources? Do you have the budget to do so?
What do you want to achieve? Do you need to spend more than usual if you want to grow or expand?
What is your total yearly revenue? What percentage of revenue do you want to allocate to marketing?
The New Year is a good time to refresh and revise your brand messaging to make sure it continues to align with the projected path of your business. Create a brand guide or revise your current guide so it includes details about your:
Tone and voice
Unique selling propositions
As you revise or write these sections, consider the three perspectives that matter to your brand.
Customer perspective: What you present to potential buyers, clients, and customers.
Internal perspective: What you present to your internal team, and what drives their work.
Market perspective: What differentiates your offerings and makes you stand out in your industry.
Shape your brand messaging to connect on those three levels.
Good marketing does not attempt to reach all people; it’s targeted to connect with a few specific and defined audiences. As you create your 2017 marketing strategy, revise or write target audience descriptions, so they are concrete and clear.
Define your target audience’s demographic and psychographic characteristics as it relates to:
Marital or family status
Interests and hobbies
Then, take it one step further and create a few buyer personas (stories about fictional characters who are your ideal customers) based on the demographics.
While reworking your buyer personas, also focus on developing your buyer’s journey. Outline what your target customer is thinking during each of the following stages.
Awareness: What is your customer experiencing as they become aware of a problem they are having? What are their pain points?
Consideration: What is your customer doing while they are considering solutions for their problem?
Decision: How does your customer make the final decision before a purchase? What concerns, thoughts, and processes guide them?
Marketing Channels and Strategic Approach
Once you have the framework, perspective, and guidelines to direct your marketing strategy, start to outline your plans. The types of marketing strategy you choose may relate to traditional, digital, or content marketing. Divide your marketing budget between the strategies that will work best for your goals and business.
If you’re not sure what will work best, consider the following.
If you’ve used the method in the past, how successful was it? Can it be improved upon?
Have you performed a full competitor analysis to explore what strategies have worked for your competitors?
If you haven’t tried certain tactics, do you have some flexible budget you can use to experiment and see what works?
Decide where your business could benefit from traditional marketing channels like:
Radio and television ads
Look at 2017 digital marketing trends and identify where you are lacking or need to improve as it relates to:
Website and online presence
While content marketing is connected to digital marketing, you can separate it into its own category. As you think about your content marketing plans, consider if you want to focus on: