What are your marketing goals for 2023? You can’t grow your business without meeting your goals, and you can’t meet your goals if you don’t make a plan. While we might experience Covid outbreaks here and there for the foreseeable future, the “pandemic era” is behind us. On top of that, inflation is likely to ease in 2023. So with the two biggest challenges of the past few years on the way out, the future is now. It’s vital that you make a plan to carry you into the future in a position of strength.
A marketing plan is a document that sets out in writing an organization’s marketing goals and the specific methods they will use to achieve them. Other than marketing goals, a marketing plan typically contains analysis of target market, ideal customer profiles, marketing strategies used, budget numbers, and KPIs. Such a plan breaks down specific marketing activities granularly, whether by quarter, month, or even week.
You may already have a marketing plan in place. But once the hectic holiday season is over and you look toward the beginning of another year, you might want to take a look at the challenges that will make 2023 different from 2022 and rework your plan accordingly.
Before you begin, get information from your entire team, whether they are involved in sales and marketing or not. Every employee has their own experience of your business and might offer some insight that you weren’t able to see. Bring your sales, marketing, and purchasing leaders together to discuss the successes and challenges of the past year and to articulate a vision of the future.
The first thing that goes into a marketing plan is a statement of your brand vision. Why are you in this business? What is the purpose of your business? What do you do that your competitors don’t? What can you offer that they can’t? Stating a clear brand vision can help you not only identify your target market, but determine the best ways to reach them.
Your plan should consider all sales and marketing channels: your sales team, your website, social media, email campaigns, content marketing, etc. Identify the channels responsible for the most growth. Which channels are driving growth, which are lagging behind and need more work, and which should you consider abandoning? Not every social media platform, for instance, will yield the same results. It might behoove you to spend less time on one in order to really focus on growing another.
Knowing what your competitors are up to will also help you come up with a solid marketing plan. Have any old competitors gone out of business? Has anyone new moved into the area? Do you expect any changes in the coming year? Look at what your competitors are doing well and where they might be struggling. Maybe they’ve tried something you’d like to try but did not have success with it, or maybe they’ve done something well that you’d like to emulate.
Finally, make sure your marketing plan is based on data and contains hard numbers: KPIs, budget numbers, growth targets, and the like.
Make the plan as perfect as it can be, but also understand that reality is not perfect. You’ll have to remain flexible throughout the year and shift targets on the fly when necessary. One way to stick to the plan while remaining flexible is to divide your marketing plan into quarters, and reevaluate goals at the end of each quarter.
It does take a little extra work to create such a plan, especially if you haven’t written one before. But the extra effort will be worth it when you see your whole team working toward the same goal by implementing a coherent, well-researched, step-by-step strategy.
Overall, it’s important to base your decisions on as much information as possible. No matter who the final decision maker is, gather input from as many members of your team as possible. It’s hard to believe that 2023 is only a few days away. Are you ready?