How to Plan an Annual Marketing Strategy
Short marketing campaigns can help generate short-term results, but they rarely lead to the consistent, ongoing results you need to take your brand to the next level. Instead, you need an annual marketing strategy: a guide that will help you determine how you should direct your marketing efforts throughout the entire calendar year.
A yearly marketing strategy can help you develop overall consistency in your business growth and see better results than a series of short-term campaigns throughout the year.
Ready to plan your annual marketing strategy? Let's look at these key steps:
1. Review the Previous Year's Marketing Performance
Start with looking at last year's marketing efforts and what you accomplished. Did you meet your goals? Take a look at what worked well for your business and what didn't, including what platforms saw the highest level of engagement and how you were best able to connect with the members of your target audience.
If you did not have a previous year of marketing, obviously, you cannot look back on those efforts. However, you can take a closer look at what you want your business to accomplish. Working with a marketing partner, such as the strategists at Mid-West Family, can help you set reasonable goals based on your industry, budget, and target market.
2. Define Your Target Audience
If you want to create a successful marketing strategy, you need to take a close look at your target audience: who they are, what they want, and what your brand can offer them.
If you do not know your target audience, it can prove highly difficult to shape your overall marketing efforts. You may not know where to position your brand for the greatest impact, what type of content your audience will most likely respond to, or even what challenges the members of your target audience have that your brand can solve.
Mid-West Family will work to create a customized strategic definition of your target audience using Avatars of your business and your customers to better map your campaign's messaging and tactics. The better you know your target audience, on the other hand, the better you can direct your marketing efforts, and the greater the likelihood that you will connect with that audience.
3. Set Goals and Objectives
To establish a clear annual marketing plan, you need SMART goals. Setting goals that are designed according to the SMART framework can help ensure that you are positioned to achieve more through your annual marketing efforts.
- Specific: Clearly define what you want to accomplish. Use KPIs and marketing metrics to lay out what you plan to accomplish this year.
- Measurable: You need goals that you can clearly measure. For example, "increased social media engagement" is not the same as "likes and shares," which you can measure.
- Achievable: Talk to your marketing partner about how you can make your goals achievable based on your marketing budget, the time you must dedicate to your plan, and even the platforms you intend to use.
- Relevant: Make sure that your goals are relevant to what your business actually needs to achieve. Vanity metrics, including things like social media followers, may not tell you as much about your reach as more relevant information, including things like actual increase in purchase rate or visits to your location.
- Time-bound: Annual marketing goals should be based around your marketing year. However, you may also want to set shorter-term goals.
If you do not have any metrics from your previous marketing year, setting clear goals can be particularly important. Working with a marketing partner such as Mid-West Family can help you achieve them.
4. Identify Your Budget
It's important to analyze how much you can spend in the coming year. You need to clearly understand the details of your budget so that you are fully prepared to manage your marketing as the year progresses.
Budgeting also allows you to set a Return on Investment expectation using a few simple figures. A Mid-West Family strategist can help you compute ROI for your budget so you know what it will take to make your investment back, plus more, from your campaign.
5. Choose Your Marketing Channels
Consider what platforms the members of your target audience will prove most likely to use, including which ones they trust most. Are they highly engaged on social media? Do they regularly listen to the radio? When you know where your target audience is most likely to connect with your brand, you are better prepared to produce content that meets those specific needs.
Mid-West Family can assist with mapping your Customer Journey from start to finish, finding holes and helping you plug them so your campaign will be a success as you lead customers from unawareness down to action and retention!
6. Monitor and Measure Your Results
Your annual marketing plan offers comprehensive guidelines that can help carry you through the year.
Just remember to avoid changing your campaign structure or tactics often. Each change means a change in audience, frequency and consistency that has been built over time, effectively meaning you "start over" talking to a new audience each time.
7. Partner with a Full-Funnel Media Partner
A full-funnel media partner at Mid-West Family Southwest Michigan can help alleviate some of the strain of your marketing efforts and provide you with a team that can help guide your marketing efforts. We offer FREE agency-quality strategic help with every campaign committed, so we can help guide your customers through every stage of the customer journey, measure results, meet ROI, and give you success you can see and feel with your marketing.
Do you need help strategizing what you would like to achieve? A Mid-West Family Southwest Michigan marketing strategist can help set you up for success and guide you through your annual marketing plan.
Connect with Mid-West Family Southwest Michigan Today
Having an annual marketing strategy can go a long way toward increasing your marketing results and helping you maintain the consistency your customers really want from you.
Are you ready to create an annual marketing plan designed to help you achieve your goals? Connect with Mid-West Family Southwest Michigan today.