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Strategic Marketing Planning: Are you ready for 2019?.

  • What were your marketing or business goals for 2018?

  • Were you successful in reaching them?

  • How did you measure success?

  • What will you focus on in the coming year?

These are all questions we ask ourselves as well as our clients. If you don’t have concrete answers to them, then it’s time to get serious about strategic planning. If you’ve never sat down and sketched out your marketing year, we want to share some tools with you to help 2019 be your smoothest, most effective year yet.

1. Get everything down in a marketing calendar

A marketing calendar is the best way to see your whole year at once. Our advice as a starting point is to just get every marketing initiative you know of down on the calendar and you can adjust later.

Think about all your marketing channels: Publications and ad due dates, email campaigns you run, trade shows you attend. Write down any commitment you’ve already made for the year. This will give you an accurate picture of which channels you’ve hit hard and will show you holes or missing channels from your marketing strategy.

Never used a Marketing Calendar? That’s ok, use ours!

2. Set SMART Goals

With all existing events, initiatives and channels in front of you, it’s time to turn to goal setting.  The goals for your business could be financial in terms of getting more sales, or retaining a bigger percentage of 2018 business etc, OR they could be based in brand awareness. Maybe you want a bigger social media presence or even want to focus on getting a quarterly communication out consistently in the coming year. Whatever your goals may be, make them SMART.

A SMART goal is a short statement that a person makes to lead them in the direction of what they want to accomplish. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Having goals written in a SMART format ensures that you are clear on what you’re trying to accomplish, and determines when and how you’re going to do it.

Examples of Marketing Goals Versus SMART marketing Goals:

Not SMART: *Increase traffic to website and capture more leads.

SMART: *Write and launch a facebook ad campaign to targeted audiences and add a chat function to website homepage by February 1st, 2019.

3. Check-in often

Now that you have SMART goals, and a way to track and apply them in your marketing calendar, it’s time to get to work! As you work towards your strategic goals, hold yourself and your team accountable to the measurable and time-bound components of your goals.

Look at the data… Are you on target to reach your goal? Are you on target to reach it on time? If not, adjust course.

Using tools like SMART Goals and a marketing calendar help keep our goals in the forefront so everyone can see what’s coming up and objectives are being tackled. We recommend setting a monthly meeting with key players to check-in on marketing goals, but you will find the cadence that’s right for you and your organization.

Give these tools a shot in 2019 and as always if you need help, just give us a shout.