It’s not even the holiday season yet and many companies and organizations are already talking about their comprehensive marketing plans for 2014, as they should be. Getting a strategic marketing plan together for the new year ahead is just the beginning of the battle. Do you have goals and objectives for the new year? Have you outlined what successes you can point to from the prior year and what didn’t work?

Before you even sit down to scratch out a plan of attack for 2014, make sure you have a good understanding of what has worked for your company in the past and have a budget in mind. It also helps to look at what competitors are doing. It never hurts to scope out the competition; however, tread lightly and take their tactics into consideration if showing a pattern of longevity.

Get all your ducks in a row before launching your marketing plan.

One of the most classic mistakes companies make is not making sure all of their marketing mediums are up to snuff when putting together their plan. Do an inventory and review of your branding, messaging, advertising, public relations strategies and social networking platforms. Make sure they are all in line with one another. They should also be in line independently. For example, your brand should be used consistently throughout your organization. Your press releases should be going out on a consistent basis and be keyword rich for optimal online saturation. Only after you assess your current marketing tactics, should you consider adding another tactic to the mix for the new year.

Now it is time to talk budget!

We tell clients we have a million ideas to offer you, but those ideas are only fruitful if you have the budget to implement them. Figure out what your budget is for the year, prioritize your desired marketing tactics and work backwards. Map out each item, giving weight to those that offer the greatest ROI. Then, determine which items can be implemented internally and which need to be outsourced and begin assembling your plan.

Don’t even know how to begin?

Many companies have never developed a comprehensive marketing plan and wouldn’t even know how to start. You aren’t alone. If this blog didn’t help, contact us today and we would be happy to help you get your marketing plan developed. Cheers to the New Year ahead and happy planning!