Whether January marks the start of your new fiscal year or the mid-point of your current year, now is the time to update your marketing strategy for 2017.
While 2016’s marketing may have focused heavily on promoting a new facility or program expansion, your focus for 2017 is unlikely identical. Measurable goals and objectives are the foundation of a marketing plan and play a key role in charting the direction of your overall marketing program. Before the new year begins, it is imperative to update your goals and objectives to align with your strategic business goals for the year ahead.
A significant win at the state legislature or acquisition of a key competitor can influence the overall direction of an organization. And, as organizations evolve, programs and services come and go. Consequently, the mission, vision and key message points used when discussing a company or cause need to change with the times – as do the communication channels you are using to engage your target audiences.
Social media isn’t going anywhere
Twenty-fifteen marked the public launch of Facebook Live. What will 2017 behold? As new marketing channels emerge, organizations must evaluate whether or not they can prove valuable marketing tools are well-suited to the content they seek to share and audiences whom they seek to engage. When evaluating the viability of a new marketing channel asses if it would be an addition to your current marketing channels or replace an underperforming channel, if your content is well-suited to its format, and if your current – and future – audiences are using, or open to starting to use, the platform.
Data can improve performance
Your marketing metrics from the year ahead can help to inform a more effective allocation of resources moving forward. For example, if online advertising drove the lion’s share of your website traffic but yielded few qualified leads, you may want to reallocate a portion of that budget to a marketing tactic that yielded greater returns. On the flipside, a modest spend on Facebook advertising may have not only driven website traffic, but generated email signups and yielded qualified leads – all signs it may warrant additional budget dollars during the upcoming year.
The competitive landscape continues to evolve
As companies merge and are acquired, those from whom you face the strongest competition is subject to change. Keeping an eye on the competition is important, as are identifying opportunities to set your firm apart. Before developing your 2017 marketing plan, audit your competition, complete a brief SWOT analysis and identify how you can effectively leverage marketing to break through the clutter in your industry.
Maintaining an up-to-date marketing plan ensures alignment between marketing goals and business goals, strengthens brand consistency, and allows companies to effectively allocate their resources to the highest performing strategies and tactics. As you embark upon refining your marketing strategy for 2017, focus on developing content that is audience-centric and distributing that content through channels that not only reach one’s target audiences, but attract qualified business leads.
Looking to update your marketing and communications plan? Download our free guide to communications plans for helpful tips.