Plans for the New Year

This realisation causes many business Directors to ‘take stock’ in January – looking at the various aspects of their business and how they can improve things in the coming 12 months.
As one of the key areas for any business, we always encourage clients to take the dawn of a New Year as a planning opportunity for marketing.

Here are some things you might consider looking at:

Budgets

The majority of successful businesses set budgets at the start of their financial year and one of the key areas in which they do this is marketing. Having a marketing budget creates an impetus for forward planning, giving you at the very least a rough outline of how you might communicate with new and existing clients over the course of the year. If you don’t have a marketing/comms budget, your approach to marketing is likely to be less strategic, and by extension, less effective, risking wasting money and effort.

If you didn’t allocate a budget at the start of your financial year, take the opportunity of the new calendar year to do so. If you do have a marketing budget, January is an ideal time to take stock, review what has been spent and where. With this information, you can then assess how effective the various activities have been, enabling you to make best use of the remaining funds.

Key dates

In the majority of industries, there will be busy and quiet times – perhaps dictated by the seasons, key festivities such as Easter or Christmas, or even industry-related events, such as annual awards. Although you know these things happen each year, it can be easy to find yourself on the back foot – scrambling to put together a promotional campaign, a piece of marketing material or other key documentation. One tip we try to impress upon clients is to create diary alerts well in advance of each key date or period to allow sufficient time for the planning and executing of required marketing activity. Using a 12 month content calendar to schedule in key industry dates or seasonal topics means you can prepare your content well in advance so nothing is sent out in a rush. This not only reduces the pressure on yourself/your team in the run up to key dates, it also increases the likelihood that what you produce will be of high quality and therefore more successful.

Goal setting

Another key tip for getting the most out of your forthcoming year’s marketing activity is to set goals. Think forward 12 months and put some numbers on what you hope to have achieved. For example, you might decide that you want to have won 20 new clients, or retained 75% of your existing client business. From here you can work backwards to figure out what you will need to do to achieve these goals – for example, send out a monthly email marketing campaign, hold 6 events throughout the year, write a weekly blog post for your website. Remember that a different (or at least nuanced) tack will be required for new and existing clients, and any sub groups within these overall groupings, and that in most cases, a combination of different activities to form a cohesive strategy will be the most effective approach.

We all know how quickly time passes, so by effective planning, thinking ahead and setting quantifiable goals, you give yourself a better chance of achieving success from your annual marketing activities.

If part of your New Year planning involves taking a fresh look at how you approach your marketing, we’d love to hear from you. As a fully integrated B2B marketing & business development agency, our team believe in integrating everything we do so you get better results.

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