Planning Your Marketing for 2017Jan12017

Categories: Marketing

If your marketing checklist for 2017 looks identical to last year’s checklist, then I’m afraid I have to break some bad news to you…you are doing it wrong. The marketing world is a dynamic environment and it changes from year to year.

Your marketing plan should be unique in its own way every year. The reason is simple: people change and you should change how you approach your customers or clientele accordingly. Instead of having a list of things that you must get done, you need to gather a set of goals which you want to attain. Try the non-linear approach. Brainstorm, write your goals down, and connect the dots from your audience perspective.

While you are brainstorming, consider the following:

  • Think of ways to make an impact.
  • What major issues or problems do you have to solve?
  • What knowledge does your audience seek?
  • How can you simplify your audience’s needs?
  • Determine your business customer service cycle.

One huge aspect of getting ready for the next year is your budget. Determining your marketing budget can be a nightmare, but there are some guidelines that we can give you to follow which can make it a bit easier. Here are some suggestions that you should take into account, depending on the age of your company:

New Companies – Companies that have been in business between 1 to 5 years should expect to spend between 12 and 20 percent of their total gross revenue on marketing.

Grounded Companies – If your company has been in business for more than 5 years, then chances are you already have some branding developed. This means that you don’t have to spend nearly as much as a new company. Anticipate spending between 6 to 12 percent of your total gross revenue on marketing each year.

These numbers might seem high for those of you who are just starting your business, but the reality is that you need much more exposure in the early years of your business rather than down the line. Establishing a strong following and customer base is your primary objective during the early years of your business, which means spending more on marketing is a must.

This can present a difficult situation. How can you spend so much money on marketing if you aren’t making much money in the first place? The best suggestion we can give you is to be careful with what you put that marketing money into. You need to build the right way and start off going in the right direction, otherwise what little budget you do have can be completely wasted.

Your marketing budget should be distributed between the following:

  • Branding
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Traditional Advertising
  • Content
  • Events

There is no one specific aspect of your marketing that should get more of your marketing budget than the rest. Your dollar distribution will vary depending on what target audience you are seeking to reach. Some businesses might gain more from social media marketing while others might benefit more from traditional advertising. Determining which marketing methods are best for you is also part of your yearly marketing plan.

Overall, the idea is simple. Utilize your budget the best way you can. Don’t be static and remember to adapt to your environment. Lastly, just because your marketing plan worked last year doesn’t mean it will work this year. Always carefully evaluate the trends and expectations of your audience.