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5 Last-Minute Tips for 2016 Marketing Planning

By: Andrea Panno

Remember this past summer when you planned to develop and finalize a 2016 tactical marketing plan for your business? With about one month left until the New Years’ champagne bottles pop, what is the status of said plan? If you are like the majority of small- to mid-sized business owners who do not have a finalized plan in place, there is no time like the present to create one.

As seasoned marketers with decades of experience generating results for our B2B clients, we’ve identified 5 key components that every marketing plan should emphasize – last-minute or not.

  1. Don’t shy away from digital marketing.

Assess the marketing channels outlined in your plan. Are they digital-heavy? Unsurprisingly, 61% of global Internet user’s research products online1 and that number is only expected to grow as technology evolves. With that said, your plan may include the digital channel you are most familiar with – but one isn’t going to cut it. If your 2016 business goals include growing your company, then you need to be sure that you’re capturing the attention of all potential prospects. To do so, focus on all online mediums including search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media and of course, your website. Which brings me to my next point.

  1. Make it mobile-friendly.

Websites that aren’t optimized for mobile may as well be stashed along-side your basement-dwelling collection of dust-ridden floppy-disks. By the end of 2017, mobile commerce will account for 24.4% of overall eCommerce revenues2. Moreover, users now have decisions when it comes to choosing a mobile device – tablets, laptops and oversized smartphones. By adopting the features of a mobile-friendly website, you will save your company from entering the abstruse world of developing an app for each device. Keeping up with modern marketing can be a full-time job (we would know), but mobile is one trend you can’t justify missing out on.

  1. Depend on the data.

If you were on the ball with your marketing plan last year, hopefully, you’ve garnered measurable analytics that you can benefit from this year. CMO’s report that they spend 8% of their marketing budgets on marketing analytics and expect to increase this level in the next three years3. Explore any and all data you have related to the success of your marketing efforts, and analyze the information to uncover patterns and trends of what worked best or what channels captured the interest of your top clients. The benefits of measurable data are two-fold. You can leverage the information to make data-informed decisions about what to emphasize in this year’s plan, and to also fine-tune your data-capturing tools. Set quantitative, measurable goals now and track their success periodically throughout the year.

  1. Cue the content marketing. 

More than just a buzz-word, content marketing is a trend with opportunities that span your entire sales cycle. It educates, informs and positions your company as a subject-matter authority. For most small- to mid-sized businesses, content marketing sounds time-consuming with little ROI. Al contrario, my friend. Content is the hub for which all of your other marketing channels will thrive, and how you’ll earn the trust of your prospects. Consider how an early-stage lead will benefit from reading a White Paper produced by your company. They will not only receive validation and empathy for the problem they are looking to resolve, but will find that your company offers the solution. Not only that, but the White Paper will provide content for all of your marketing channels. Win-win!

   5.  Engage with the experts.

You’ve identified that you haven’t yet finalized your marketing plan, and we empathize with you, judgment-free. With biases aside, we suggest that you look to the experts for help with your plan and execution. There is nothing worse than spinning-your-wheels to develop an “okay” marketing plan, only to find that executing the tactics require even more time and energy. When you engage with the experts, you’ll find that a world of opportunity is at your fingertips. Whether to develop or refine your tactical marketing plan, or execute one or all of the tactics, a professional marketing team will provide measurable value at every turn.

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  1. Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012, via Hubspot
  2. ABI Research, via Hubspot
  3. CMO Survey, via Hubspot