We're just a couple of weeks away from the Christmas break and the end of 2016. Whilst it can be tempting to start kicking back and getting into holiday mode, you should make sure your business is ready for 2017 otherwise you'll be behind the game (and your savvy competitors) when you return to work in January.
Why it's important to create marketing plans for 2017
It's important to review the past year so that you know what marketing strategies worked for you and what didn't. Perhaps a Spring promotion worked well for you in 2016 but if you don't identify that until January 2017 you are leaving yourself short of time to plan. There are always benefits to planning early, particularly if you need to create content or marketing & promotional materials. Leave it too late and there either won't be time to create exactly what you wanted or it will cost more as you have to choose express service options.
For example, if you'd like a bespoke promotional bag for your campaigns we need orders to be placed before December 22nd 2016 for delivery in time for Spring 2017. There will still be options available to you in the New Year (like print-on stock bags or express delivery services) but they will cost more than ordering early. And don't forget the added stress of creating a brief etc., with a tight deadline.
There are many practical reasons why you should think ahead. If you don't, your competitors will have so it's time to get going!
How to Get Ahead with 2017 Marketing Plans
Not ready for 2017 yet? Not to worry, there is still time! Take a look at this article from the Insider Marketing Group - Jump-Start Your 2017 Marketing Plans with These 10 Tips for some great ideas to get you going.
The key points to pull from the blog post are:
1. Talk and Collaborate
Take this opportunity to grab all relevant stakeholders and get their feedback on the year gone and what they envisage for the year ahead. Marketing plans shouldn't be created in a bubble - get out there and talk to sales, product development and customer services. Everyone who can give you feedback on your customers and products is key to the process.
Keep communicating at all stages. Go back to stakeholders once your plan is complete and get their thoughts. Keep going back to them throughout 2017 to review how your marketing strategies are working. Good communication will also improve their trust in you and make them more inclined to support your marketing efforts - making the best recipe for success!
2. Use Marketing Data
Think about what you learned in 2016 and apply it to the New Year. There's no point making the same mistakes! Use marketing data such as Adwords results, google search terms & phrases, website visitor statistics, customer feedback and whatever else you have to hand to make informed conclusions on the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
3. Get Processes in Place and Review Regularly
Where could you improve? What gaps do you need to fill? Audit your current assets and work out what else you need. This will help you work more smoothly with other departments such as sales and customer services.
If have haven't started planning yet, use the coming weeks to start making plans and identifying the urgent and important tasks for 2017, so at least you can hit the ground running come January.
What have you done to plan ahead and what are the main benefits of doing so? We'd love to hear your thoughts so please reply via our social media channels. If you found this post useful, please do share it.
Need promotional bags by March 2017? Place your order by December 22nd 2016 for cheapest delivery service. Orders placed after Christmas will be delivered in mid-April (or 4 weeks earlier if you chose express delivery).