Many telecom and IT services businesses begin thinking about the upcoming year right around now, but may save the actual planning and budget-setting for the final days of 2016.
However, that could be a big mistake.
A typical plan includes a series of tactics that you and your team can try over a 12-month period.
Maybe you have a few meetings over the course of the year, maybe you don’t.
Don’t Be on the No-Plan Plan
If this sounds anything like the way you plan your marketing dollars, we beg you to do it differently this year. There is a stigma that marketing ROI is tricky to calculate. But if you don’t give your planning an honest go, how can you be sure?
Here are a few of our best tips to give you a leg up on the new year.
Before you know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. Besides being a line in a Matthew McConaughey commercial, it’s pretty true. Take a look at your past marketing efforts to see which (if any) had a profound impact on your business.
Bonus Tip: Take a look at what didn’t work, too! You can learn a lot from less-than-stellar marketing campaigns.
Set yourself up for success with S.M.A.R.T Goals:
- Specific: Make it super-focused.
- Measurable: Figure out the metrics you’ll use (e.g. budget, engagement, leads).
- Attainable: You don’t want to blow goals out of the water, but reaching them is great.
- Reasonable: Don’t go international before you go regional.
- Time-Bound: Set up monthly and quarterly goals to keep you on your 2017 plan.
Set up Your Overall Strategy
Now, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to bring in all that sweet, sweet business. Be organized about it. Set it up nicely so that it can be spread out and delegated to your staffers.
Break It Down Into Tactics
What specific marketing tactics will you use? Inbound? Outbound? Ad spend? Write those specific tactics down and set smart goals for each of them accordingly.
Set the Budget
Prioritize your tactics to ensure the most important ones get the money they need. If you’ve followed the plan thus far, it shouldn’t be difficult.
Now, Go Do the Work
Plans that aren’t enacted aren’t worth the paper (or Google doc) they’re printed on. Ensure the use of the plan with regular meetings, and track those metrics to gauge the ROI.
Next, start thinking about (gulp) 2018.
If you need help with this whole process, we’d like to think we’re pretty good at it. Give us a shout here and see if our pros can help you work out your 2017 marketing plan.