It may be hard to predict what opportunities and threats your business may face in 2015, but having a strategic marketing plan in place will reduce the likelihood of your business growth being stunted by unpredictability. 

Why do so many New Year’s resolutions fail? Or diets that start so strong on day one never make it past day eight? It can be human nature to not plan past the initial idea of wanting to do better – never making a solid long term plan of business growth.

Planning is the key to success. As the old adage says, failing to plan is planning to fail. Icon has developed a five step process to building your 2015 marketing plan.

Step One – Review
Reviewing the marketing campaigns, promotions and strategies that were and were not successful in 2014 is important when looking ahead.

Use every data resources available to you to track specific tactics to know what to repeat or replicate in 2015 or what tactics to dump.

Step Two – What are the measures of success?
Before you develop a marketng strategy that will help your business grow in 2015, you need to understand what are the measures of success for your marketing program. Setting these objectives and goals upfront will help you develop a robust marketing program to achieve each your goals.

Examples of goals for your business should be specific and have a target and time frame attached to them. For example:

"We want to attract 1000 new subscribers to by…”
"We will finalise the development of our new product range within three months and hold a public launch within six months.” or
"We will launch our services into new territory within three months and grow sales to 15% overall turnover in this territory within 12 months.”

Step Three – Achieving your goals
Building your marketing strategy is all about developing strategies and tactics that will help achieve each of your goals. This part of the plan should be specific about what will be done, when will it be done and who is responsible for doing it.

For example, a familiar goal fr expanding the business into a new territory and growing sales can be broken down into a series of individual activities such as:

  • Market research into potential profitable territories
  • Database development for new potential customers, distributors or stockists in the new territory
  • Recruitment of the right staff for the new territory
  • Development of a promotional launch program into the new territory that can include advertising, PR, online advertising, database marketing etc. This in itself should be a larger activity plan to ensure all promotional activities are integrated and working to achieve your goals.

Step Four – Budget
Setting a realistic budget is unfortunately one of the areas that can sometimes limit the scope of marketing activities. That is no reason not to still brainstorm some of the bigger ideas that can be executed later. If your just starting out or coming from a small customer base, budget realistically for tactics that will immediately work towards achieving your goals.

Step Five – Review
Continually review your marketing plan, your goals and activities plan. Goals can change, the economic climate can change and new opportunities that could not have been foreseen six months ago are not a real possibility. A marketing strategy shouldn’t be set in stone. Visit it and review it often to ensure your activities are working to achieve and exceed your goals.

If your not sure about how to get started on your 2015 marketing strategy, call us today to book in your strategic marketing workshop that will review your business to ensure that core brand values are on target and are being communicated