How to Plan an Annual Marketing Strategy

Designing a comprehensive annual marketing strategy is key to ensuring the success of your sales and marketing efforts throughout the year. While short-term goals are an important part of marketing, they can't compete with an effective yearly template for your marketing team. 

By drawing up a 12-year marketing plan, you are identifying direction, reviewing resources, keeping the marketing budget on track, and gaining valuable insight into your business operations. 

While hardly set in stone, this blueprint allows your marketing team to maintain consistency and support business growth. Here are the main elements of a successful annual marketing plan:

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1. Review the Previous Year's Marketing Performance

By analyzing last year's marketing performance, you can identify tactics that worked the best for your business while figuring out what shouldn't be repeated this year. This information provides insights into your team's capabilities, budget efficiency, strategy impact, and much more. 

If you don't have this information from the previous year (e.g., as a startup), you can go on to define the goals and objectives you want to achieve this year. They can become an essential part of your annual roadmap.

2. Define Your Target Audience 

Understanding your target audience is integral to the success of your marketing strategy. Even if you already have several buyer personas figured out, you may want to review them for your next year's plan. 

Use the information you've gathered over the past 12 months to identify your target audience segments and find opportunities for conquering new customers or clients. 

Companies that implement high-level personalization can improve customer loyalty by 150%. Having a clear understanding of your audience helps you tailor an effective marketing strategy with personalization tactics in mind.

3. Set Goals and Objectives 

Goals and objectives are the pillars of any marketing plan. Two ways to set marketing goals and objectives are: 

1. SMART Goals  
A Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goal doesn't just give you an idea of what to work for. It provides benchmarks to measure your progress. An example of a SMART goal is "improve customer retention rate by 10% by August 2024." 

2. OKRs
This goal-setting method contains a goal and 2 – 5 key results. Similar to SMART goals, OKRs create a framework for your marketing tactics. An example of an OKR is: 

Objective: Improve customer engagement on social media 

Key results: 

  • Achieve 100 comments daily 
  • Grow the audience from 2,000 to 4,000 

Once you identify marketing goals, you need to figure out how they align with business goals. Without this alignment, you may not achieve the desired results.  Setting highly detailed goals is especially important for companies that don't have data from the previous year of marketing to lean on.

4. Identify Your Budget 

Your marketing budget is one of the most important elements of the annual marketing plan. You need to understand how much money you can spend on crucial tactics, and how much you have left for additional efforts. 

Since not all marketing strategies yield the desired results, a lack of budget clarity could lead to unwarranted expenses. 

When setting up a marketing budget, you need to consider previous experience, current goals, and available resources. While these budgets vary from industry to industry, an average company spends around 10% of its revenue on marketing.

5. Choose Your Marketing Channels 

Identifying marketing channels in advance can help you set the right budget, distribute marketing assets, and provide a roadmap for your marketing team. 

Your marketing channels depend on several important factors including: 

  • Target audience demographics 
  • Target audience preferences 
  • Your industry 
  • Budget 
  • Competition 

The goals and objectives you set can help lead you when choosing the best ways to guide customers on their journey with your brand.

6. Monitor and Measure Your Results

When you set marketing goals and objectives, you have to identify metrics and KPIs that help you measure progress. During the year, you can track and measure these elements to check how well you are achieving the goals.   

Metrics and KPIs allow you to see the bigger picture and understand when to change the marketing strategy or adjust the tactics. 

While setting these elements, you have to remember that marketing is a long process. If you don't see the results immediately, it doesn't mean you are on the wrong track. The strategy may just need more time to start yielding results.

7. Partner with a Full-Funnel Media Partner 

Creating a comprehensive annual marketing plan is a complex process that requires specific experience and expertise. Companies that don't have them prefer to outsource planning to a third-party marketing service provider. 

Partnering with a full-funnel media partner like Mid-West Family Springfield MO allows you to delegate key elements of your marketing planning to a team of experts. They can help you create a comprehensive marketing strategy and assist with implementing it seamlessly to streamline customers' journeys with your brand. 

If you are ready to handle marketing on your own but need assistance with strategizing, Mid-West Family can also help. 

Implementing a Successful Annual Marketing Strategy 

A 12-month marketing plan is an integral part of a successful marketing strategy for businesses across all industries. By creating a comprehensive blueprint in advance, you are setting the stage for effective tactics throughout the year. 

A high-quality marketing plan can help your team save time and money while achieving the boldest marketing goals and staying ahead of the competition. 

Are you ready to start planning your annual marketing strategy? Contact us today!  

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