Have you started your marketing plan for 2024?
No pressure – but now is the time to be analyzing, strategizing and budgeting for marketing
your business in the New Year. Of course, recent experience has proven that none of us can
predict what might happen over the next 12 months (or 12 hours!) But here are three concrete
steps to creating a marketing plan that will support the goals you set now – and any pivots you
make as the year unfolds.
1. Resist the Urge to Recycle (Last Year’s Plan)
With so much on your year-end plate, it’s tempting to simply look back at what worked in 2023
and plan to do more of it in 2024. But returning to the tried and true is not exactly a “strategy.”
If your company is evolving, your marketing objectives need to support your evolving vision.
Assessing last year’s marketing successes – as well as evaluating what did not work so well – is
an essential first step in developing your new plan. But don’t stop there. Identify what you want
your business and your team to achieve in the year ahead, then consider how to tweak or
revamp your marketing efforts to support these objectives.
2. Map Out the Right Mix
How do you determine what to keep, what to toss and what to add to your marketing mix?
Start by reviewing all of the internal data/metrics you can gather from the past 12 months.
Check in with your customers or clients. What are their current pain points or concerns? Which
of your company’s products or services could address these challenges? And what messaging
and call-to-actions need to be developed?
It’s also important to consider projected trends for your industry or market niche, and be super-
clear about where your target demographic is getting their information. Is it via websites?
Google? Specific social media sites? What they prefer now may be significantly different than it
was a year ago – and it may shift again six months from now.
Many businesses map out their plans by marketing channel, but keep in mind that your
customers don’t necessarily experience your marketing that way. Each interaction they have
with your brand is part of their total user experience. It’s important to spend time evaluating
how your customers are moving through their buyer journey – and designing your marketing
campaign so it resonates with them each step of the way.
3. Build a Realistic Budget
No matter how small or large your business is, your budget needs to allocate specific dollars to
marketing. But exactly how much should you spend on promoting your business?
Industry experts typically suggest calculating your marketing budget based on a percent of sales
or revenue. (Just Google “small business marketing budget” and you’ll see this can range anywhere from 2% to 12%.) But simply using a random percentage doesn’t take into account
your unique challenges and goals.
So, in addition to looking at your current and projected sales, you need to consider the other
key pillars of your marketing plan:
- Your target audience
- How to reach them
- Where to focus your time, energy, and dollars in light of the financial and human
resources that are available.
Once you have all of these components in place – and factor in the reward vs. the risk – then
you can figure out the budget.
When it comes to marketing, MIFA Media is all in on being innovative. But we also know that
customers want to engage with brands that are consistently authentic. If you want content that
connects with your audience and stands out from the crowd, give us a shout!