2014 Marketing Plan: Don’t Make This Up as You Go Along

This is the time of year for thoughtful reflection—looking back at 2013 and mrktgplanahead to the new year. A time for planning. Time to review your marketing plan. Whoa—a marketing plan? Many business owners have never had a formal marketing plan–isn’t this something you figure out as you go along?

Creating accountability. I always recommend developing a formal marketing plan, identifying tasks, budget, a timeline and who’s responsible for the deliverables. It’s important to get a run rate, know what you are spending, what’s working and what’s not working so you’re not making the same mistakes.

A thoughtful marketing plan lays the groundwork to make informed decisions about existing marketing efforts. It is a living document that will change—you can’t map out a year’s worth of activity in January and nail it. What it does provide is structure and accountability. You can put your marketing plan into project management software, a CRM application or a simple spreadsheet. Keep it where you can refer to it and update it as the year evolves—at least quarterly.

One more thing: If you value your time—and you must—start tracking it! Identify the time you’re spending on your marketing efforts–things like updating social media, newsletters, writing and posting blogs and content for your website. At the end of the year, add up those hours and determine if they were worth the time you spent on them. If not, don’t be afraid to let go. 

Need help developing your marketing plan? Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re experts at creating cost-effective marketing strategies for our clients.

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