Marketing for a new year – are you ready?

By Renata Mathewson, Maple Marketing

There are a lot of clichés when it comes to marketing. Two you hear often are “fail to plan, and plan to fail” as well as “if you want to know where you’re going, look at where you’ve come from”. Those come to mind because they’re true. Effective marketing is all about proper planning.

Schedule in some time each week to do some work on your business that often falls down the list of priorities when you’re busy with the day-to-day operations. Begin your marketing planning for next year with a look back at last year, and do some evaluating of your business. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you set targets for the previous year and did you reach them?
  • Can you set measurable targets for next year?
  • Who was your best client last year and why?
  • Are there other similar people or organisations out there for you to target?
  • Where would you find them? What are they buying, reading, watching, surfing, listening to, blogging about, etc?
  • Who would be your ideal client to have next year? Who do you want to target?
  • If they called you today to find out more about your business, are you set up to give them the information and professional image they’d be looking for? (i.e. is it time to get around to updating that website that you’ve been meaning to get to?)
  • What product or service did you sell the most of last year?
  • Is this also your most profitable?
  • What marketing activity did you do last year, and did you measure new business from this activity?
  • Are there any seasonality factors or events that happen throughout the year that you should be preparing for now? (e.g. end of tax year, ski season, parent and child show, etc.)

The list could go on, but don’t over-complicate it. The point is that you really need to review your performance of the past year before you can decide where to allocate resources for next year. If you have no written marketing plan, start one.

A marketing plan doesn't need to be 50-page document that takes forever to write, only to be filed away under a pile of other stuff on your desk. It doesn't need to include reams of theory,
in-depth competitive research and a SWOT analysis.

It can be as simple as a one-page document with twelve columns (one for each calendar month) that you tack up on the wall. What matters is that you give some thought to what your business objectives are for the next six to twelve months and then write down some plans that will guide you toward those goals.

As with any sort of new year’s resolution – whether it be a fitness program or business venture – once you begin to write it down you take it more seriously and become more committed. As a bonus, you’ll probably also become more efficient with your time and save a bit of money.

If you need any help with your marketing planning for next year, get in touch with us for a free initial consultation.