Creating a marketing plan is crucial for your business’s success. Without a plan, you’ll miss important opportunities and events and scramble to accomplish things at the last minute, causing stress and lack-luster results.
To help you create a plan for the coming year, we’ve created a simple worksheet. Click Here to Download and then follow along with the additional information we’re including here.
Know Your Audience
Marketing your business is not about you, the Owner. It’s about the customer. You want to keep the focus on the customer in all your marketing interactions. It is an effective way to build trust with the customer and to demonstrate that your primary concern is understanding their requirements and needs, and learning what you need to do to deliver value to them. Every time you communicate something about your business, think about it from the customer’s perspective. What’s in it for THEM?
Most Business Owners THINK they know who their ideal customers are, but writing down who your ACTUAL customer is will help you keep focused as you plan your marketing. Study who frequents your business. If you have a current customer list, identify who your top spenders are. What’s their gender? Single or married? Do they have kids? Are they students? What types of jobs do they have? Where do they live? What types of cars do they drive? What lifestyle are they living? How frequently do they visit you? What problems do they have that you solve?
All of this information will give you direction on how to speak to your customers in your marketing to make it more effective.
What do you want to achieve through your marketing efforts? Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Here are some examples:
- increase monthly sales by 20%
- create even sales across all months
- build a customer list of XX people
- improve retention by 12%
- launch a new product/service in X month
- increase social media engagement on X platform
The more specific you can be, the easier it is to create marketing that will accomplish that goal.
- Sales Assessment
Review your 2023 monthly sales and set your goals for 2024. Highlight the months where you need to focus your most powerful marketing efforts to reach your goals.
There are always peaks and valleys, some businesses are seasonal, some slow down due to weather or holidays, while others thrive under the same conditions. Identifying your weakest periods gives you the opportunity to focus on improving them.
- Online Review Assessment
Your online reputation is often potential new customers’ first impression of your business. Even if they have been referred by a trusted friend, they will likely still go online to investigate you. They’ll look at your website, your online review sites, and read reviews left from previous customers.
Your first step is to claim your listings because if you don’t do it, Google will surf the web and fill in the blanks for you, and they’ll likely get some information wrong. Unclaimed listings could show the wrong hours, the wrong map location, old photos and get basic details about your business wrong. You want to be in control of what the listing says. It doesn’t cost anything to claim it, just the time it takes to sit down and do it.
Once that is done, keep the content fresh and information up to date to move up the rankings on sites such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. Answering your reviews (both positive and negative) is a great way to move up the ranks and show your potential new customers that you genuinely care about the experience they have at your business.
- Marketing Assessment
Assessing what you have done in the past helps decide what to do in the future. Not all marketing is successful – you want to keep the winners, improve the mediocre and ditch the losers.
In addition to that, you want to be building a solid customer list, that you own and control, so you can directly communicate with your customers to build a relationship and compel them to return.
- Am I building a customer list that I control (names, addresses, email, text, birthdates, anniversary)?
- Am I sending a birthday offer to customers who are having a birthday each month (this is the easiest way to start a strong mailing list, by offering a birthday gift to them if they provide their address)?
- What marketing campaigns/promotions worked well in 2023?
- What marketing campaigns/promotions can be improved upon?
- What marketing campaigns/promotions shouldn’t be repeated?
- What opportunity did I miss tying marketing to?
What events do you want to tie your marketing into in the coming year? Are their special milestones for your business, or in your community?
Look at a calendar and take into account each month of the year, then add what events might be happening that you can tie in with. It could be a standard holiday like Easter or Halloween or a celebration related to your business. It could be an industry celebration like Car Care Month, or National Pizza Month. Or it could be something really obscure but fun. A great resource is https://nationaltoday.com or https://nationaldaycalendar.com
Now that you know when you marketing will happen, you need to decide the details.
- What is the promotion?
- What’s your offer?
- Who’s your target?
- What is the goal and most important?
- What needs to be done.
Then, delegate tasks to specific people and give them a deadline. Who will write the email, who will take social media pictures, who will capture testimonials, who will create inhouse materials or direct mail? Who will be responsible for replying to online reviews?
Write the tasks with their deadline on a calendar so everyone can be accountable, and you can know what is happening when. You have to follow up and remind your staff of upcoming deadlines. And make sure when provide your approval, you give it quickly so your staff can finish their tasks.
As your marketing campaigns begin, be sure you are monitoring the execution to keep customers happy. Your staff need to follow the right procedures so that when you review results at the end, they are accurate. Measuring marketing is the only way to know what works and what doesn’t, so you’re your marketing dollars aren’t wasted.
With these guidelines and the accompanying marketing plan worksheet you can download here, you’ll have an effective marketing plan in place to execute your marketing tasks with ease. Keep it simple so that it doesn’t lead to frustration. The secret is to plan ahead, set goals and stay focused on your objectives. Don’t wait until the last minute – start planning today!
You DO NOT have to do it all yourself!
If this seems daunting or overwhelming, then try a 90 Day Free Trial of our complete, turnkey marketing solution, Royalty Rewards®, that provides you with everything you need to increase your sales and profits, including a personal Coach who will create this marketing plan with you.
Our program was built for Independent Business Owners who don’t have giant budgets, who need a program that will not create more work for them, has a support team that is readily available, and that can be automated to ensure marketing never gets forgotten or put on the back burner.
It’s a comprehensive marketing solution that is customized for your specific needs, producing tangible and consistent results that automatically delivers a flood of customers to your door every day.
To prove it to you, we offer new customers a 90 Day Free Trial. You get 100% access to the entire program for three months and you will begin to see results immediately. Click the Button below to book a call with our Program Director.
Connecting your marketing to a theme like St. Patrick’s Day creates a sense of community and fun. It encourages customers to feel part of something bigger, fostering a positive atmosphere around coming to your business. This March, seize the opportunity to infuse your business with the festive spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.
Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by the daily operations of your business? Do you find yourself juggling tasks without making meaningful progress towards your financial goals?
Safeguarding your time can be a game-changer in maximizing your business’s profitability.
It’s might surprise you – but every type of business we work with has success with a Romance Month promotion. By tapping into special events like Valentine’s Day or Superbowl that happen in February, you can tap into consumer behavior patterns that already exist and present your business in a creative manner that resonates with them more effectively than general offers.