It might be hard to believe, but 2016 is here! If you have not already done so, it is time to review your business’ marketing strategy. In this blog we cover the importance of a marketing strategy, analyzing your current strategy, knowing the trends in marketing that may affect your strategy, and elements to keep in mind when putting together your strategy for the new year.
French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote “Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.” – Citadelle (1948). In marketing, we may use past data in order to find trends and predict future data, but the key to successful marketing is to use those trends to come up with a strategy that enables a business to thrive.
Strategy is vital to any marketing plan. A good strategy:
Creating a good strategy is easier said than done. It is important to gather data and market research before beginning to put together your strategy. Start with analyzing your current plan and then move forward from there.
In order to plan your strategy for the upcoming year, it is necessary to assess the effectiveness of your strategy from the year before. Hopefully, you have been gathering and analyzing data all year and have a pretty good idea of your current strategy’s strengths and weaknesses. Now is the time to put all that data in one place and take a good hard look. Decide what you should keep and what your should change. Maybe event consider adding something you’ve never tried before.
Market analysts love making predictions, and there are dozens of articles already written about the marketing trends that we will see this next year. Do your research and consider these predictions, but also take the analysts’ recommendations with a grain of salt. Your business is unique, and what works for the general population might not work for you.
For example, many analysts are insisting that Instagram is the new biggest thing in social media, but if your business does not fit within Instagram’s target market or naturally have interesting visuals, then it is probably not an effective idea to add Instagram to your marketing strategy. However, maybe you’re not on any social media channels. Facebook may be a potential option for you to explore in the next year. Know your target market, look at your own numbers and use common sense.
You’ve gathered research and crunched numbers, so now it’s time to put together your strategy for the year.
Plan Campaigns. You do not need to know all the details now, but you should allot enough time and money to run all the campaigns you want to run for the whole year. By planning ahead you’ll help make time to put the needed marketing materials together. Will you be adding new products, introducing your brand to new markets, or moving forward with a new strategic initiative? Plan ahead and build it into your strategy so there are no unpleasant surprises or rushed campaigns throughout the year.
Schedule short-term and long-term plans. Think of your goals and how you’re going to reach them. Then, choose some kind of analytic to measure that progress Do you want a certain number of page likes by the end of the 1st quarter? Do you want to be the top hit on Google in three years? Do you want to add an additional location for your business in five years? Do you want to hit a certain revenue number? Think about if your goals are obtainable and then create a solid plan to meet those goals.
Know your audience. No strategy is going to be effective if you don’t know who you are directing it towards. Consider who is your target market and what types of marketing they respond to; when are they online and what are they looking for? Strategize the best ways to get your message to them and how to interact with their responses.
Without a marketing strategy, any marketing you do is likely to be ineffective and a waste of time and money. With just a little bit of effort and knowledge, your strategy can effectively reach your target market and help your business reach it’s goals. Start the new year right with an updated marketing strategy. Looking for help? The team here at Treefrog is ready to help you out.
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more.