Editor’s Note: This article, written by Dorothy, was originally published in The Lee Group, MI LLC’s eNewsletter, which can be found here.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The kids are back in school, cider mills are once again open and football has started up again. This is also a great time of year to take stock of your company’s marketing plan, its successes in 2016 and its goals for 2017.
This is not a quick process. You and your marketing team should plan a one-day off-site to review 2016 and plan well for 2017. Some of the elements you should review include:
- What were your goals in 2016? Did you have specific goals for specific marketing tools or did you have an overall sales goal that marketing was supporting?
- Did you meet or exceed these goals? If you did, fantastic! Congratulations! Can you determine which marketing tools really worked for you in support of the goals (i.e. did you launch a new social media campaign, a new website or publish a new sales catalog?)? How can you leverage the most successful elements of your 2016 marketing plan into your 2017 efforts?
- If you fell short of your goals, do you have a clear understanding of why? Often when sales and marketing goals are not met, it comes down to a few basic issues. Were enough resources dedicated to the marketing functions (resources to include people, training, budget, etc.)? Was everyone with a role in marketing aware of the goals and their part in meeting or exceeding them? Was the company aware of and supportive of the marketing plan? Has your audience (demographic) been clearly and correctly defined? Are you marketing in ways and with tools that are appropriate for that audience?
By acknowledging successes as well as failures, you are going to be more successful in your plans for 2017.
Planning for 2017 will be significantly easier once 2016 has been carefully reviewed. You’ll want to start this planning by understanding the overall company goals for the coming year. How will marketing be involved in meeting these goals? Consider reviewing the marketing tools that were most successful in 2016 and implementing a plan that puts more resources behind those tools in 2017.
The best way to ensure a plan will be successful is to be transparent with it and hold people accountable for specific tasks. Publish the 2017 Marketing Plan within the Marketing Department and then go one step further and post it for other departments to review as well. Make sure your team members know exactly which parts of it are their responsibilities. And lastly, don’t wait until next September to talk about the goals and plan. Make time each month to review goals, celebrate success and change course if necessary.
September is a great time of year to review the current year and begin planning for even greater success in the coming year. It’s also a great time to enjoy football games and make a trip to the local cider mill!
Make it a great one everyone!