As we come to the end of 2016, all business owners will be looking back on 2016 successes and putting some thought into goal setting for 2017.
However, many business owners don’t invest enough time in thoroughly auditing the many ups and downs from the last year, as well as looking towards next year and considering where will be most fruitful to invest time and money to grow the business.
We know it’s a very busy time of year and want to make it easier for you to grow in 2017. So we’ve just launched a limited-time offer to handle all the planning and evaluation for you to make 2017 your best year yet, and free up your time to focus on other things! (Booking required by 23rd December 2016 – click here to find out more.)
From our many years working in digital marketing, we truly believe planning is the number one prelude to success.
We’ve created an infographic ‘The importance of planning’ to outline why it’s so important, the process of marketing planning, and 8 key benefits creating a 2017 marketing plan will bring to your business.
As busy entrepreneurs and business owners, we understand that every minute or penny needs to be justified, so we’re more than happy to share these key benefits with you.
After all, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t!
8 Key benefits of marketing planning
(Just why is it so important to plan for 2017 right now?)
According to Tracy Timberlake (video marketing strategist), only 8% of people achieve their goals. That leaves 92% who don’t. We’d bet that a fair share of those don’t do the planning and research or actually set their goals or accountability properly in the first place! Give your business the best shot at succeeding by putting these plans in place.
Lack of a structure can much too often send us off in the wrong direction, chasing the latest shiny new thing that may not even help meet the goals anyway, and being less focused on the whole story. Having a structure in place helps keep everything on track, and if you have a timing plan with tactics as part of your strategy, even better.
One thing that all online marketers agree on is consistency. Consistency of brand, consistency of message and consistency of timings. All these areas are critical, and without a plan too much separation can creep in, leading to confusing messages being received by customers. Furthermore, inconsistent work won’t have the level of impact that well-coordinated projects will.
If you have spent time auditing your 2016 marketing activity and measuring successes, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s worked well in the past and what would be most likely to work well in the future. You’ll be able to be more laser-targeted in your approach (the scattergun approach is no good for anyone!), with clearly defined target audiences, channels and messages as well as the ability to monitor them.
After working so hard in your business, you’ll finally get chance to work on your business from that privileged 50,000 foot level. The business will benefit from your T-shaped viewpoint and you’ll be able to consider how each project influences another, prioritise better and plan the best use of your time and budget.
From this viewpoint, you’ll be able to take back the reins, and be specific about where further support or delegation is required, or what isn’t helping you meet your overall goals at the moment and can be shelved. It will be easier to manage your staff or external suppliers as they will have clear objectives which link back to your own business goals, and make any adjustments as necessary.
Having looked back on 2016 (per month if necessary), you should have a strong grasp on your benchmarks, so in 2017 you can use analytics to make informed decisions, based on year-on-year metrics and KPIs. As long as your digital marketing tracking is in place and you’ve been able to interpret the data efficiently, you will be able to use it as a management metric as well as performance indicator.
So many financial decisions cannot be easily made without effective tracking, reporting and planning in place. Decisions around investment, resources and products all suddenly get a whole lot easier when taken into account as part of your marketing strategy. Important topics such as cash flow, payment terms, revenue generation, profit models and more should synchronise with your sales and marketing processes.
Once you have this elevated view of your business and the role of digital marketing within it, any change of direction that is required in 2017 becomes a lot easier to forecast and manage. Efficient planning is critical for any size of business, not just the biggest brands.
Good luck with your 2016 review and 2017 planning!
If you’d like our help and to book our limited-time package, don’t forget to do so before 23rd December 2016 at the latest.