It’s October, which means that it’s time to start planning for 2019 if you haven’t already. Yearly planning can be an overwhelming exercise. But it gets easier if you have alignment on goals. It’s impossible to create a plan if you don’t know the destination of the business. Once you know what you're working toward, it's just a matter of figuring out how you're going to get there.
When you’re setting goals, consider your business metrics. What are the revenue, retention, and growth goals for the company? Then, consider the strategic marketing initiatives that will support the business.
The marketing initiatives should account for some basics.
- Who are you selling to? - Consider the market that you’re specifically trying to sell to in the coming year. Are you looking for new customers? Do you want to invest in selling more to existing customers?
- What are you selling? - Consider the product and the pricing of what you’re selling, this will come into play when you’re considering new product releases and planning your revenue goals.
- How are you selling? - Which marketing channels are you using to promote your products? How are you talking about and positioning your products?
After considering these elements and considering where the business is at and its goals, then you can define your primary marketing goals. I’ve found that setting three goals is a great way to achieve what I set out to do. More than three seems to create distraction.
Below is a goals template with examples.
Now that you’ve set your goals, it’s time to plan how you’re going to reach them. Things to consider as you’re creating your plan are:
- Historical performance
- Target metrics
I recommend setting a budget for the year, but find that creating a yearly plan is a wasted exercise. It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in your industry or the world of marketing. A new competitor might enter your industry, a marketing channel might become available, or a regulatory change you didn’t expect could impact your business.
Instead, create a plan for the year that includes events or seasonal activities that you are know will happen and then develop a detailed plan for Q1. Depending on your goals, you can summarize marketing activities in a template like the one below.
This summary focuses on the efforts that will drive lead generation and sales goals. This includes activities in areas of brand awareness, product releases, and lead generation campaigns. It’s also important to account for the day-to-day marketing activities that need to happen and the operational work marketing needs to do to support automation, processes, measurement and reporting.
Using the template and our guidance should provide a framework for your yearly planning and set you off on the right foot as you enter 2019. If you have questions or trouble accessing the template, email us at team [at] thinkwine.co