10 Things Every Annual Marketing Plan Needs

Your business needs a comprehensive marketing plan that will allow you to continue reaching out to potential customers. You want your marketing to flow smoothly, allowing you to continue to reach the members of your target audience and keep your business top of mind no matter the season. With a solid marketing plan and clear overall objectives, you can often set yourself up for higher overall levels of success. Does your annual marketing plan have the tools you need to succeed? 

1. Business Goals  

Before establishing your marketing plan, you need to know your business goals and how your marketing plan can help you meet them.  

Your goals may include things like: 

  • Increasing revenue 
  • Growing your market share 
  • Launching new products 
  • Entering a new market 

When you know your business goals, you can align your marketing goals and efforts with those central business goals, enabling you to meet them more effectively.  

As you outline your business goals, you should also create a clear account of your brand messaging, including how you intend to connect with your target market and what value propositions you offer.

2. A Clear Target Audience

Your marketing plan needs a clear target audience and a solid understanding of their needs, preferences, and behaviors. If you do not know your target audience, you may struggle to determine what type of marketing will best meet your needs or what platforms you need to use to reach them, from social media to radio. The better you understand your target market and the customer value journey, the better you can create marketing content for their unique needs.  

3. A Budget

Ideally, your marketing efforts should generate a solid positive return on your investment. Most businesses, however, will start with a finite marketing budget that will govern how much they can afford to spend on their marketing efforts. Lay out what you can afford to spend on your marketing initiatives, from advertising to events. Ensure you include content creation and promotions in your marketing budget.  

4. An Idea of Your Marketing Mix

In your annual marketing plan, you need to lay out the specific marketing tactics you plan to use to reach your target audience. You may, for example, choose: 

Remember that you are not locked into any marketing strategy that does not work for you. Your marketing plan is adaptable, and you can continue to adapt your goals and strategies as you observe its results throughout the year. 

5. A Timeline

Lay out key milestones and deadlines for your marketing efforts. You want to ensure that everything stays on track and that you have launched your campaigns on time.

6. Metrics and Analytics

What will you be tracking as you move forward with your marketing plan for the year? How will you determine success? Don't get lost in vanity metrics like likes and shares on social media (though those can help determine the extent of your reach). You may also want to look at website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, and customer acquisition costs.

7. Competitor Analysis

In addition to keeping an eye on your marketing strategy, your annual marketing plan needs to include an analysis of your competition and what they are doing. While you do not want to duplicate your competitors' content precisely, you may want to take advantage of marketing tactics or strategies they have used to ensure you aren't missing out on opportunities to connect with your audience. 

8. Marketing Roles and Responsibilities

Lay out roles and responsibilities for the members of your marketing team, if you have one. Include who will take responsibility for each part of your marketing initiatives, whether that simply means connecting with your marketing company or helping to produce content, monitor analytics, and more.  

9. A Contingency Plan

Your audience or marketing needs can change unexpectedly. Ideally, your annual marketing plan should include a contingency plan that will allow you to shift and adapt to those changes in the market. Businesses that can adapt and pivot as needed to stay competitive are much more likely to thrive even during unexpected changes and challenges.  

Get Help Launching This Year's Marketing Plan 

By working with a comprehensive marketing partner who can provide the tools you need to achieve your goals, you can better understand your target market needs and how you can most effectively connect with them. At Mid-West Family Springfield, we have the tools you need to take your marketing to the next level. Contact us today to learn how we can help you design a marketing plan, then maintain its execution all year. 

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