Now that we’re in December, it’s time to turn your attention to your 2015 Marketing Plan. This is especially true if you want get this accomplished before you get caught up in all the holiday activities. We all know that time seems to move faster than usual.

There are a few things to consider as you start pulling your plan together.

Getting Ready for 2015

1. Look Back Before Planning Forward

It’s always helpful to review the previous year to see what worked well and what did not go quite as well or as expected. Create a list of all your marketing activities and ask yourself the following questions for each activity:

  • What worked? (Rate this: extremely well, pretty well, okay, not great, really bad). The ‘not great’ and ‘really bad’ will automatically give you the “didn’t work” activities.
  • What was the budget for each activity compared with the actual expenditure?

This exercise should give you a clear picture of your 2014 activities and results.

2. What’s in Your Budget?

Decide what you have available for marketing in the coming year. You don’t need to have a lot of funds to create a budget. Of course, with more funds you can often do more, but also be aware that you don’t have to spend it simply because you have it. Whatever your budget, where you allocate funds needs to give you a return on your investment or you should not be doing it. Always begin any marketing plan with a budget.

3. What’s the Plan?

Now that you have evaluated your previously (hopefully) successful activities plus calculated how much you are going to be able to budget for 2015’s marketing, it’s time to set your plan. The best place to begin is with your goals for the coming year. Once these are established, plan how you are going to accomplish those goals.

Don’t forget the metrics. Measure your successes regularly so that you can adjust your plan as the year progresses. Remember that all marketing plans need to be flexible.

Review Your Business

As you head into a new year, take the time to review the avenues that showcase your business and/or brand to your customers. Now would be the right time to review your website content and the activities that drive potential customers to that website. These can include the website itself and well as social media, blogs and email marketing, to name a few.

Everyone cannot be an expert at everything. Perhaps 2015 is the year you will outsource your marketing. Inbound marketing, which is the promotion of a business through a large number of content marketing activities, can take a huge amount of time when done properly. If you are spending the time to do this sort of marketing,who is running your business? Should your plan include increasing your inbound marketing, consider directing some of your budget to a person or organization that specializes in assisting companies like yours to achieve their marketing goals, while you focus on your customers.

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