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Have You Strategised a Marketing Plan for the New Financial Year?

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Have You Strategised a Marketing Plan for the New Financial Year?

With the end of financial year fast approaching (only three days away, yikes!) it’s time to get a few things in order for your business.

One of those super important things is a thorough marketing plan. Maybe you had a good plan for the 17/18 financial year, and it yielded pretty good results, or maybe you got a little lost or distracted part way through the year, and it shows on your bottom line, either way, it’s time to sit down with a pen and paper and hammer out something fabulous for the new year. And here’s how to do it:

It’s called a ‘plan’ for a reason; you’re going to have to strategise!

I have never met a single successful business person who has told me that they spent their career ‘winging it’. If you want to succeed, if you want to reach that particular far-off goal, then you need to have a plan of how you’re going to get there. It’s the same when it comes to marketing.

If you want to reach more people, get better brand exposure, and ultimately increase your bottom line, then you need to have a clear marketing plan in place, and you need to stick to it. I say this all the time, but marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why I think it’s so good to hammer out a plan for the whole year and granted you may break that year up into smaller monthly or quarterly campaigns but creating an overarching strategy will give you some perspective of the big picture.

What’s the best way to start your plan? Well, you need to look back in order to move forward. Whether you’ve been in business six months or six years, chances are you have some figures you can look back over. Be really critical; see what actually worked and what really didn’t, see what resulted in higher engagement or higher sales and figure out how you utilise that same sort of technique and build on it in a new campaign.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to try something new. There’s nothing wrong with testing a new approach, but if you do make sure you are watching your metrics closely and that you know when to tweak and when to pull the plug altogether.

Create a calendar.

This one’s pretty simple but oh-so-important. Like I said if you’re sitting down and planning out a year’s worth of marketing, you’re probably going to find that it breaks down into smaller campaigns. Use a calendar to mark them out and be smart about what you run and when. If you sell pool supplies, for example, then winter would be a fantastic time to market your pool heaters, whereas if you ran the same campaign in summer, it probably wouldn’t get much traction.

Create a marketing calendar to follow along with your strategy and stick to it! Don’t get lazy and don’t let yourself get off topic; use your calendar.

Get clear about what you want and why.

You’ll never know if you’re plan is actually effective until you figure out what results you’re hoping for. So, what is it that you want your marketing to achieve and why? Do you want more brand awareness? Keep running those ads! Do you want better relationships with your clients? Content marketing is the way to go. Do you want to nurture those leads that are most likely to buy? Use marketing automation to identify your hot leads and personalise content for them.

My point is you need to figure out what it is you ultimately want from your marketing before you can really decide on a clear plan because different methods will yield different results in different areas. And on that note…

Find your platforms.

Once you’ve figured out who, what, when, and why, you can finally decide on the where. Marketing is changing; it’s not as simple as just running ads on TV or the radio. According to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, as of May this year, over 50 million Small Businesses are using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers. In fact, nowadays there are many successful businesses that only use social media and emails to market their brand.

No matter what platforms you choose to use, it’s important to clearly mark them in your calendar along with what content you are planning to schedule where and when. This is something you’ll probably have to hash out along the way this coming financial year, but it is a good idea to sit and decide when and how often you want to be posting to Facebook, or sharing that blog, or launching those podcast episodes, and make sure that all of your platforms and various campaigns seamlessly weave together (marketing automation is a great way to achieve this).

So … It looks like you’ve got a busy three days ahead! I think it’s time to get yourself a double-shot coffee, get pumped, and write a marketing plan that is going to knock the next financial year’s socks off.

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