Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – and, while that’s relevant to many facets of business, it rings especially true for marketing.
Your business, no matter the industry, needs to have a strategic marketing plan, and the best strategy happens when you look at the entire year.
There are plenty of reasons as to why you should craft your marketing plan on an annual basis, all of which can benefit your revenue and growth. Let’s discuss our favorites.
Through a yearly plan, you can clearly carve out your priorities. You’ll not only know what you want to focus on, but when the best time is to focus on it.
The Big Picture
With the big picture that your annual plan portrays, you can plan with methods that build on prior campaign successes to create even more success and improved engagement.
When you plan annually, you’ll get a clear image of your busy months and your slow months and, therefore, gain useful information to benefit your efforts. For example, you might want to plan for a contest campaign during slow months in order to drum up attention – and switch your tactics to focus on specific products or services during busy months to avoid becoming overwhelmed and spread too thinly.
There’s no questioning that creating an annual plan takes a large amount of data. All of that business-related data speaks to your market, your audience, your competitors, your buyers’ journeys, and their pain points. All of this information allows you to create an insightful plan and push your business in the right direction.
If you create your annual marketing plan before the year actually starts, you’ll have the upper hand – meaning you’ll hit the ground running in January and continue to build on that momentum throughout the year. Having this momentum will give you the tools to know when to schedule your radio campaigns and other marketing efforts so you make the absolute most of the resources at hand.
With a roadmap in front of you, you’ll be able to see what needs your urgent attention and what can take the back seat while you tend to other, more dire things. You’ll always know what’s coming, which means you’ll be prepared to create action plans for tasks and campaigns that need immediate attention.
A functional team works like a well-oiled machine, and that’s most likely to happen when everyone is on the same page because you have an annual plan. When everyone is aligned with the same goals and strategies to reach them, they can complete their tasks without much oversight. When your team understands the objectives that they’re working towards (and how those objectives change as the year goes on), they’re more accountable.
No one likes to scramble, and being proactive is always better than being reactive. When you plan for an entire year, there’s no last-minute fumbling to worry about, since all the details are squared away far into the future. When the hectic planning process is made obsolete, you’ll have more time for other aspects of your business – and much calmer days.
An annual plan gives you the power to make sure all of your campaigns launch without going over budget. By allocating funds at the beginning of the year, you know you won’t run out of money before all of your campaigns are spent. You can also budget in some extra money so you have room to pivot when the unexpected inevitably arises.
When you examine the big picture of your annual plan, you’ll more easily see any gaps that need to be closed or opportunities that should be taken advantage of. This also allows you to take advantage of sales seasons and holidays that you might have missed in a plan that’s more ‘on the fly.’
No one wants to end the year with regrets, and an annual marketing plan won’t let that happen. When you control your business with an annual plan, you have more say over your campaigns’ outcomes and are more likely to end the year on a positive note.
Have You Devised Your Plan Yet?
The end of the year is soon approaching, which means it’s wise to start thinking about your marketing plan for 2024. If you’re struggling to get started, reach out to Federated Media for help. We’d love to prepare your business for the upcoming year by making sure your marketing plan is set to go.