If you don't plan ahead and get your business ready for the future you'll be constantly behind the game (and your savvy competitors). Thinking ahead is the way forward - it will allow you to make better business decisions and understand your market more.
Why it's important to create marketing plans for the future
It's important to review the past year so that you know what marketing strategies worked for you and what didn't. If you haven't planned 2019 yet, get going now! Perhaps a Spring promotion worked well for you last year but if you don't identify that you run the risk of not booking & attending for the following year. Or a small business may not make the most of the opportunity due to lack of planning.
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 & delivery options.
For example, if you need a bespoke promotional bag for your marketing campaigns, we need orders to be placed 12-14 weeks before the promotional bags are needed. There will still be options available if you order later (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, approving designs 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!
Three Ways to Get Ahead with Your Marketing Plans
Not ready for the future yet? Not to worry, there is still time! Try these great ideas to get you going.
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 the year 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 the past and apply it to future. 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 you haven't started planning yet, use the coming weeks to start making plans and identifying the urgent and important tasks going foward.
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.
Don't forget to allow 12-14 weeks for cheapest delivery options!