How to Create a Year-End Marketing Plan
Year-end is right around the corner. What’s the state of your marketing plan? Get on the right track with this outline.
First, determine what you want to accomplish. The marketing plan then supports your business goals. Create a plan that outlines the number of attainable initiatives during the goal’s timeframe.
Example: Our goal is to generate 10 percent more income in 2023 than in 2022. To help achieve that, the marketing team will pursue the following:
- Initiative: Over the next 12 months, build a blog that becomes a go-to resource for our clients’ questions. It will be our number-one resource for generating leads month over month.
- Initiative Goal: Increase our website’s rank on search engines by creating content that addresses prospects’ pain points.
- Measurement Metrics: monitor website page views per month to determine if we are attracting the target audience; generate 10-20 content downloads per month to generate new leads for the sales team.
In order to reach the right customers, they need to be identified. First consider your primary audience by industry, location, job title, service needs or business entity/formation. Then define a secondary audience. They might include sub industries, second-tier job titles, reach locations and secondary services.
In general, a customer analysis includes age, location, title, goals, personal challenges, pain points and trigger events. Trigger events are time-based and require your services, such as nonprofit audits, international tax filings, quarterlies and extensions.
Identifying your competition is not only important, it’s fun! Prospects have choices when it comes to solving their problems. Do you know what your competition is doing to solve them? Do you do it better, different, faster, easier?
Look at what your competition has done in the past and identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Then use that to craft your unique selling proposition.
Going to Market
Now that you know your differentiator, tell your audience with a go-to-market strategy. Answer the following:
- Is your product or service unique? Maybe you use online services or AI to enhance offerings or have more experience.
- Does price factor in? Would a seasonal promotion make you more attractive to prospects? Or would a bundled package make more sense? Does the price meet the expectation of your target marketing (too high or too low could be game changer)?
- Are you located within driving distance? If not, how are you going to engage with them?
- How will the service be promoted, such as advertising, downloadable content, webinars, podcast subscriptions or events?
- Who’s going to do it? If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, you’ll need to use a consultant.
Define your budget and success metrics. Then, work with people who can provide forecasts and estimates to help you reach your goals.
This is where you’ll publish content to draw in leads, generate interest in your brand or educate prospects. This might include social media, online advertising, traditional media, events, mailings, app development, email or other channels.
- Goal: A solo practitioner in Pennsylvania wants to increase tax season leads by 10 percent over the previous year.
- Audience: Small business owners with uncomplicated tax returns and international tax filers within the U.S.; located in a 50-mile radius of the firm.
- Budget: $1,500
- Marketing Initiatives: review the website for search engine optimization (SEO) and launch a series of Google ads from Feb. 1 to March 31.
- Competitor Deficiency: International tax. Opportunity for this firm.
- Going to Market and Channels: Promote location, years of experience, technical expertise; use website landing page and dedicated email address to capture leads; and work with consultant to craft, monitor and report online ad strategy.
- Outcome: Online ad budget of $1,000 resulted in 19,100 impressions (number of times ads were shown), 435 ad clicks and 45 new leads. Goal achieved.
Don’t delay. The new year will be here before you know it.