3 Marketing Tips To Help You Plan Ahead
1) Staying Ahead of the Game
"Through careful planning you can often get in first, putting you ahead of your competition. You could be the first to announce or launch something new and desirable. For many businesses, there are specific times of the year that you need to be in touch with your customers. By planning ahead and getting everything ready in advance, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on vital marketing opportunities."
Knowledge is power and marketing data can be used to make informed decisions about your proposed marketing strategies. You may have strong Seasonal sales you want to capitalise on, or perhaps you have identified your quiet times and want to run a campaign to increase business during slow periods.
Or perhaps there is a major new change coming into force that will effect your business (for example, the introduction of a carrier bag levy for retailers), then you can best plan how to take advantage of this. You may decide to run a PR campaign for your retail store and create your own reusable bags to give away or sell in-store when the levy comes into force. Planning ahead will enable to you to plan the campaign each step of the way, as well as keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing (or not doing!).
2. Creating Focus
"When you plan ahead you are forced to identify what exactly it is you want to accomplish and how you intend to do it. With a plan in hand you are able to focus more on exactly what you need to do to deliver your service to your customers. This helps to create a bigger picture, which in turn can help to improve communications and share responsibilities by identifying who needs to do what and when"
Create a marketing calendar so you can see at a glance all the major events and promotional opportunities coming up over the coming year. Decide what you will focus on and which marketing activities you could be running to capitalise on them. Once you have got an idea of the marketing strategies you will use, you’ll have better idea of when they need to be completed. Who will do the job and when do they need to start in order to make deadline? If everyone has a schedule to work by and knows the plan, marketing objectives are more likely to be achieved!
3. Reducing Stress and Increasing Success
"Even the most basic planning can save you time, money and stress. Just plotting dates on a calendar helps give an overview of the year ahead and can help increase success rates. With more time up your sleeve you are able to eliminate many potential problems before they ever occur and reduce the number of rushed decisions that are made without reference to an overall marketing plan."
This is particularly true when you need to order marketing & promotional materials such as leaflets and promotional bags. Most materials require a certain lead-time to be produced and cutting it fine will end up costing you more in design fees and delivery costs (not to mention stress levels as you work to meet the deadline!). To avoid costly mistakes, plan your marketing materials at least 3-4 months ahead.
As you can see there is great benefit to planning ahead and every business should do it – no matter how rough the planning, it really does make a difference.
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net