Developing or restructuring your marketing strategy annually is an important tool to help you outline, develop, and obtain the most important goals to you in a calendar year.  This is a great way to kick off the year on a great note and to help you to focus on what it is that you want to achieve and what you need to do to reach those goals. Because these goals can change over time, it’s important to reevaluate at regular intervals (quarterly for instance) so that you’re not going an entire year before you realize whether or not a specific method was working for you.  A marketing plan should be created annually and reviewed at regular intervals to update your strategy and goals.

So, where do you start?

Well first, you should determine what your marketing goals are for the upcoming year.  Are you looking for increased engagement on your pages? New newsletter subscriptions? A certain number of new clients in a year? Once you determine the goals you want to reach, you can formulate strategies for reaching these goals.

Is one of your goals to increase engagement on Twitter? What do you need to do to increase engagement on your Twitter page? These tasks make up the outline of how you will accomplish each of your goals.  Set a budget for each goal or quarter.  Are you putting more money towards paid advertising or running contests this year? Set a budget for that and split it up throughout the year as necessary.

Divide the year up into quarters. Give yourself “due” dates at the end of each quarter. These “end of quarter checkpoints” will translate to times where you can regroup throughout the year. See where your progress has gotten you so far; see what definitely isn’t working, and so on.  The great thing about checking in at regular points is that you can adapt your strategies.  Only used ¾ of your marketing budget in the first quarter? Well, if those efforts were wildly successful you can make the choice to use that extra ¼ of the budget in your second quarter. Or, you can choose to go a different route and reformulate your plan instead of bleeding money into a project that isn’t working.

Another important purpose of creating a marketing strategy for the upcoming year is that you are getting into the mindset of your customer.  You discover who they are, what they want from you, and what you can do as a company to meet those needs.

It’s a good idea, as you’re getting started, to review your progress from last year.  This can serve as a jumping off point.  This doesn’t mean that your goals will be the same as numbers and objectives that you reached last year, but it does show you what you’ve been capable of in the past and where you can build from there.

Creating a marketing strategy plan for the New Year has countless benefits to your business.  It really can be a way for you to lay out your goals and develop strategy on how to achieve them throughout the year.  Set checkpoints in place to ensure that you are accomplishing your plans.  Life always comes up, and you have to be able to adapt to that along the way.

 Do you create an annual marketing strategy? What are your big goals for the upcoming year? Any tips for creating a marketing strategy you’d like to share? Comment below!