Anyone with a green(ish) thumb knows that it takes careful planning, nurturing, and plenty of patience to grow something great—and that applies to marketing plans, too! That’s why we’re not winding down here at Rawle Murdy as the end of the year inches closer. We’re gearing up for our biggest push yet. At RM, we prefer to put the work in up front so our clients can reap the rewards down the road, turning individual ideas into thriving marketing campaigns before their very eyes. Taking the time to set goals and identify opportunities sets us up for success, helping us work smarter, not harder. For many of our clients, that means starting with a comprehensive, annual plan. Want to know how to create a successful marketing plan of your own? These tips can help. Check them out! a real treat.
First things first: Decide what you want to accomplish this year. A smart strategic plan is built around measureable, achievable goals. Evaluate how your brand performed compared to the industry average and the previous year’s goals, then determine if you want to keep building on that momentum or if you need to focus your efforts in another area. Maybe you want to try focusing on another target audience, or maybe this is the year you finally get around to redesigning your website to ramp up online sales. Figuring out your top priorities will give you a solid foundation for an annual plan that gets you closer to reaching your goals.
Next, you’re ready to have some fun with it! Keeping your goals in mind, hold a few brainstorm seshes to come up with new campaigns, tactics, and content ideas. This could be big-picture stuff, like creative campaigns that will run all year long. Or, you can generate content ideas for video, radio, emails, and everything in between. The important thing is to never lose sight of your overarching goals, and to make sure that everything you dream up works in tandem with every other aspect of your marketing plan and goals. Oh, and remember to enjoy the process.
Here’s where your organizational skills come into play. To make sure you stay on track with your goals throughout the year, you need to capture all your brilliant brainstorm ideas and put them into a strategic content calendar. This content calendar can include topics for emails, blogs, social media, video series, and more—whatever your heart desires. We recommend filling this out quarterly if you need more flexibility, or every six months if your content is more stable and consistent. This ensures that you’re taking a holistic approach to content planning, and ultimately saves you time during the actual content creation process. A comprehensive content calendar can also help you evaluate what type of content is resonating with your audience, as you can refer back to it later when data like click-through rates and open rates are in.
We can’t stress this one enough. Even the best strategic marketing plans can be foiled by a lack of measurable results. It’s imperative that you monitor your progress throughout the year, so you can see what’s working and what’s not. For example, in our Google Ads campaigns, we analyze average click-through rate (CTR), average cost per click (CPC), average conversion rate (CVR), and average cost per action (CPA) for each client relative to their industry. Once you’ve identified your benchmarks, check in on them regularly. We suggest holding monthly reporting meetings with your team to review the results and adapt accordingly. When comparing your results either MoM (month over month) or YoY (year over year), remember to look at any campaign changes you made, whether that’s new keywords, ad group adjustments, campaign bidding strategy changes, or budget changes, as these will play a role in the overall performance. Keeping an eye on how all of these factors influence your results can be crucial in helping you set smarter goals for the following year.
If your brand could benefit from the strategic minds at RM, just give us a shout! We love a challenge.