Annual Marketing Plan

2013 is well and truly here and many of us have already planned our marketing plan for 2013. For others, marketing is just now coming into focus. Often not knowing what to implement into the marketing plan can cause procrastination. Below are a few good points to touch base on when building your marketing plan for the New Year.

Customer Focus

Customer focus should be one of the first things to keep in mind when building a strategic marketing plan for 2013. Keeping budgeting, resources and a direct timeline of implication should always follow suit after gathering detailed information about your customers. Having a solid campaign of adequate customer information not only keeps the marketing strategy on target but also will help save time and money. Many times proper planning and management of marketing practices will help increase sales and definitely help in building brand awareness with the targeted audience.

Reviewing 2012 for 2013 Marketing Plan

Once you have your customer information and research in place, the next best step to take is to look back over all efforts made in 2012. A few questions to ask are;

• Did your sales objectives meet your expectations from a result of your marketing strategies?

• Did you connect with the important people-customers and prospects.

• Did your website connect with the target audience and help bring more awareness about your company?

• Were you able to set more prospect meetings to encourage doing future business together?

These are important pieces of the marketing strategy to take note of what parts of the planning from the previous year worked and what ones did not work. It is at this stage you can start to make adjustments to your marketing planning for 2013.

You may decide that your current marketing plan is highly successful and determine if major or minor adjustments need to be made going forward.

Businesses often find themselves on each side of the coin, but often many businesses fall somewhere in the middle. Many times some techniques worked well and produced decent results, where others were not effective at all.

Often small businesses do not have a marketing strategy at all, and find that without a detailed program, they often just try things as they come, and seem to be flying by the seat of their pants so to speak.

When this is the case, some companies often purchase newspaper advertisements for a short term, advertise on the radio, and even try a low budget TV campaign; because they think they have spotted a good deal at the time. Often this results in low disappointing results that end up a cycle of repeating similar tactics looking for the magic formula.

Marketing Plan Focus

In 2013 companies should focus on marketing plan initiatives that start with foundations that are solid to help attract more customers. In order to do this, companies should understand the demographics and needs of the purchaser.

If it’s a business to consumer sale, it is often easier to make up the customer base by using ready available resources; charge cards, sales receipts and email lists that help narrow down where the customer base is driven from, age group, frequency of purchase and the most popular service rendered or item purchased.

However, business to business marketing can be a little more complex in nature and may need to be a little more creative. Often small businesses face situations where a client sets aside a small portion of their budget to that specific firm, but may be spending a larger amount with a competitor. Misconceptions of products or services, or lack of knowledge of the business offerings often is the cause of this. The business to business marketplace can be more challenging.

By researching the client/customer, you will be able to uncover areas of concerns and successes with your existing customers/clients. By doing a little more background research, you possibly will uncover more important information such as spending habits of purchasers, age, location, and even reading habits. Many times this alone can help form a profile of potential clients by bringing you into new markets or business segments. All this would go a long way in helping you with qualified lead generation.

Customer background alone can help a company create and solidify a business marketing plan. Putting the plan in place with well thought out details is the best practice for creating success in 2013.