Many companies are actively involved in developing a marketing plan for next year. Or, at the very least, they are thinking about the topic. As they engage in the process, it is essential for marketing professionals to gather meaningful information and tap into the collective brainpower of their team members to evaluate the best opportunities for growth. To determine the best course of action, here are 13 questions every company needs to address.
1. In reviewing this year’s marketing performance, what’s worked and what didn’t?
2. What do we want to do more of? Less of?
3. What are our organizational and marketing department’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
4. What data do we have that can provide us with actionable marketplace insights?
5. What trends in our marketplace will impact our future growth?
6. Is our brand being consistently and accurately represented in the marketplace?
7. How frequently are we communicating with our target audiences? Is that number sufficient?
8. What solutions are we offering that resonate with prospects and customers? How effectively are we communicating those messages?
9. What marketing channels generate the highest response and engagement rates?
10. Do we have a clearly articulated corporate distinction that we use to our advantage?
11. What is our brand awareness and significance in the marketplace?
12. How can we better support our sales/business development team?
13. When is the last time we conducted a marketing audit of our website, presentation materials, pricing, packaging, promotions or other external facing communications? (If it has been a year or more, it’s time to take stock.)
An Actionable Marketing Plan
In the right environment, the answers to these questions will lead to the development of an actionable marketing plan. This plan includes several key components:
- The corporate vision and mission
- Quantifiable goals and objectives
- Well thought-out strategies
- Activities and tactics that support the strategies
- A budget to fund the plan
- A schedule to follow.
Once approved, conduct monthly meetings to review progress and fine tune the plan to keep everyone on the same page and committed to working together to deliver results. In this way, you’ll develop a solid marketing plan.