2015 New Year’s Marketing Resolution 1: Make a plan


Preparing your marketing strategy

It’s the beginning of a new year. The Champagne bottles have had their corks popped and the nectar within consumed, we’ve all hugged and wished each other a prosperous new year, and now – inevitably – we are back at our desks wishing we hadn’t left quite such a mountain of work behind before the Christmas break.

It’s time to get those marketing new year’s resolutions firmly in place for the coming year (or at least the coming quarter). Over the next few posts, we’ll be outlining the five resolutions that every marketer needs to make – and preferably execute by the end of January. Cue and inward groan. Yes, January is no fun at all, but it is a valuable time to reflect on the previous year and make a solid plan for 2015.

Which brings us to our first resolution: if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make a year plan. It doesn’t have to be in intricate detail – no one is asking you to turn clairvoyant – but it is important to have some clear goals for each quarter.

Around 80% of your marketing strategy should be pro active, with the remaining 20% or so being reactive, leaving some space to react to unforeseen events, news, developments internally or within the wider marketplace etc. There are some things you simply can’t plan for, so let’s focus on those you can.

Getting pro active

We’re sure there’s no need for us to explain why forward planning is smart, but just in case the fog of an overindulgent Christmas break hasn’t cleared yet, here are some reasons: it enables you to establish goals, allocate relevant budgets, estimate the workload for yourself and your team, and identify any areas where you may need training or additional support. Now let’s look at these in a little more detail.

Goal setting

This is really the first thing that needs to be done. It’s a chance for the key people in the business to sit down and establish what it is they want to achieve this year. Are you looking to drive more traffic to your website? Or attain a 20% increase in conversion rate? Perhaps you’re looking to get your brand  more widely recognised? Maybe it’s all three (good on you!).

Different people in the business will have different needs and goals, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you can support one another. For example, online conversions may have to take something of a back seat if the IT team is looking to upgrade or implement new systems, payment structures or other issues that may affect online sales. This is your chance to work with other teams to see what you can achieve together and make sure you won’t trip each other up along the way.

Budget allocation

We’ll touch on this in detail when we talk about ROI in resolution 4, but after establishing goals, budget allocation is the next step. What are you going to need to achieve your goals, which channels will you use, and how much money should you assign to each channel or project? Make sure you include budget for training if it’s needed.

Divide up the work

This largely depends on the size of your team and the scope of your goals, but play to your marketers’ strengths to get the best results. Sit down regularly as a team and talk about each project. Perhaps you have a new product to launch – what’s the target demographic? How will you market to them? What kind of content should you use?

If you’re a team of two with little outside help, plan to use the two or three most effective channels for your audience and execute the strategy well rather than trying to cover all bases in a scant way. If you use agencies for SEO or PR for example, get together with your account managers and talk them through your goals to enable them to suggest how they can help.

Don’t forget...

Marketing plans are never set in stone. Be flexible enough in your planning that you can allow some fluidity, and accommodate anything you cannot foresee. Good luck.

For further advice contact Whitefish Marketing 

To find out more about what you should and shouldn’t be looking to achieve with local SEO, you can contact Whitefish Marketing today. Simply submit an online enquiry form and we’ll be in touch to discuss your options, or call our Folkestone SEO office on 01303 720 288.


About Chris Surridge

Chris Surridge is an experienced Digital Marketing Director with a wealth of knowledge on Search Marketing Strategies and Conversion Analysis. His value is in strategic planning for client accounts, and his consultative services.