Good Marketing Strategies Start with Questions
November 13, 2013 Most marketers are well into the planning of their 2014 marketing budgets and working towards approval. If you are not one of them, here are some questions to consider to make sure your 2014 marketing plan is up to the task of meeting your company's marketing goals for next year.
1. What did you accomplish this year? How did your 2013 plan perform?
Review last year's plan critically. Assess what worked and what flopped; don't allow items to be grandfathered into this year's plan because they have "always been done". If a marketing program item did not move you forward, consider doing without it this year and seeing if the loss is noted.
2. What has changed about your target audiences in the past year?
Are there new markets for your products or services? As you consider, please recognize the need for both anecdotal and data-driven insight.
Your sales people and managers have customer insights to enhance your analytics and big data. Consider an internal survey or an input session over lunch to make sure that anecdotal can be a part of your input. Know all those dashboards you set up last year, take a scan of the insights you gathered from customer feedback all year. Use all available input resources to create the strongest plan.
3. How does your target audience engage with media today?
New technologies come out daily. More people adopt existing technologies. Events that were once popular are suddenly ghost towns. Does your plan reflect understanding of your target market and where they are seeking solutions?
4. Did you conduct an audit of your measurement tools?
Marketers amass detailed metrics for everything we do but we sometimes get too busy to look at them with a critical eye. In order to really get the value of all this data, your marketing plan needs to incorporate clear and measurable goals.
Related to this: the end of the year is a great time to make sure that all your tracking tools have the latest bells and whistles loaded. A great example of this, Google rolled out Demographic Insights in September, it requires a new line of tracking code in your website tracking data. Does your website have it? Looking for these little improvements will make future data insights more powerful.
5. Are the right people participating in the planning process?
Great plans are not formed in a vacuum. An annual strategic planning session with all your thought leaders in the same room can be exceedingly powerful. Take the lead and let marketing be in the driver's seat. It's not too late to make this happen.
Great plans take time but they are worth it. If you want to move your company forward in 2014, a good marketing strategy is a strong foundation. Not sure where to start? Want a second set of eyes to review your marketing plan? Let Blue Sky Marketing know, we are happiest when digging deep into marketing strategy!
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