The start of a new year is right around the corner and if you haven’t already started, it’s time to get to work on next year’s marketing strategy. Everyone has a different approach to planning, but whether you prefer spreadsheets, PowerPoint or old-fashioned pen and paper, here are some important things to take into consideration:

Revisit your definition of your target audience.

Look at your metrics for the past year. Were you hitting the right customers? What segment of your audience reaped the most rewards? Take a look at how you define your current target audiences. Have their tastes or habits changed? Spending the time to update how you perceive your ideal customer will help you adjust existing strategies and formulate new ideas to keep your business growing.

Put in place the metrics to accurately measure success.

Until you put in the effort to track your cost per lead and cost per sale, you’re only going to be guessing at the return on your investment. Without an accurate measure of ROI, it will be more difficult for you make decisions on how you can scale effectively. Admittedly, this is more difficult with some businesses than others but understanding how much you can afford to spend on marketing to acquire a lead or generate a sale will help you in the long run. 

Think about how to scale what’s working for you.

How can you improve what’s already working? Can you apply more budget to your paid search campaigns? What types of paid social campaigns were most effective? Use your planning to find growth opportunities within your current strategies. For example, if you’re seeing a 2x to 3x return on your AdWords campaigns, try to find a way to get more ad spend dollars to grow that channel and create more opportunity.

Try something new.

Every year’s marketing plan should have something new and different from the previous year. A willingness to test a new channel or tactic could bring big benefits to your brand. Sticking with the same strategies over and over might work in the short-term but you could find yourself surpassed by hungry competitors willing to innovate.

Don’t be afraid to bring in different stakeholders in your business to talk about next year’s marketing strategy. Getting an outside perspective can help you find a new approach. Give us a shout at Hook & Blade as well – we’re happy to come and help you brainstorm new and innovative ways to grow your business.