Creating a Solid Marketing Plan for 2020
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
As the new year approaches, some of you may be working on a plan. Some of our clients have their plans ready to roll out, while others are still in the draft stages.
Having a marketing plan is essential if your marketing efforts are going to be effective. The planning process helps you understand your audience better, position your brand more effectively and set measurable goals that you can work towards.
Writing a good marketing plan isn’t rocket science. Writing a plan doesn’t mean it can’t be changed or modified as necessary throughout the year, but having a clear plan means you can consistently put out content and measure your results. Here are a few key points that you can use a guide to set up a successful plan for your organization in 2020.
1. Define your goals.
Before you do anything else, sit down and write down your marketing goals for the year. This might include a more aggressive social media campaign to create brand awareness, a targeted campaign to expand into a new market, or a new product launch.
After you have fleshed out your key goals, make each one actionable and measurable, with a specific deadline and a detailed execution plan. For example: “Call all rental companies in the gulf coast area to find out key contacts by April 1st. Send them an introductory info pack and follow up by April 31st.”
Each of your goals should answer the question: Where do I want to be at the end of 2020? The remaining steps should spell out how you will accomplish them.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
After you have set up your goals, take a good look at your target audience. For example, the leader of a health care center’s donor recognition program may be a middle-aged woman who enjoys extra hot, no-whip, coconut milk lattes and owns several cats, or a heavy equipment operator may be a hard workin’, blue-collar male that enjoys spending weekends ice fishing and drinking beer with his buddies. Once you have identified your audience demographics, you can identify their pain points and create messages that resonate with them. “Susie” may be struggling with creating a consistent revenue stream on a stretched budget, “Cody” may be wanting to make sure his equipment is in good working order to minimize downtime.
3. Understand your Product or Service
This may sound like we are stating the obvious here but a lot of people don’t understand their product well enough to market it effectively. What particular pain points could the customer be having that this is a solution for? Who is it best for? If there are any shortcomings, how can they be presented in the best light? Consider your own experience, talk to past customers or ask for input from all members of your team. Your sales or service team, or whoever is on the ground will have invaluable input on how they helped solve a customer's problem or fulfilled a need. Understanding how your product or service can help makes a customer’s job easier and can help you help the next customer with the same problem, effectively generating more business.
4. Choose Marketing Types
Types of marketing strategies abound, you may not need to include all of them as part of your marketing mix depending on your market and target audience. A few key types of marketing include:
Social Media Marketing
SEO (Search engine optimization)
Pay Per Click
For small businesses, it is better to do a few of these well than to try to do it all and spread yourself too thin. What marketing types are best for your business? Does your target audience use social media? Which platforms are most popular? For example, if your target market is under 40, Instagram is a great social media platform to focus on. Choose a few primary methods to focus on in 2020.
5. Make a Calendar
Most people leave their marketing initiatives until the last minute, resulting in a scramble to get the content out the door in time for the launch or the brochure to press. Creating a calendar for the year helps us work with our clients and nudge them along throughout the year to ensure deadlines are met. For example, if you plan to mail a brochure out on April 1st, you should have it to the printers no later than March 15 and aim to finalize the design and content by March 10, and so on.
6. Just Do It.
Making a plan is one thing but the proof is in the pudding. You need to execute it if it’s going to be effective. Our team at Big D is helping several customers reach their goals by taking care of the day-to-day marketing activities. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you take the headache out of your marketing efforts and generate solid results.