It’s always good to make plans ahead of time in order to get the best result possible.
Setting new goals for the new year is what every smart business owner does. I’m guessing you must have tried to do same towards your 2018. If you consciously did, then you must be looking through all the plans and checking out how it all turned out. If you didn’t, nothing broken. This post will take you through all you need to do to plan your 2019 marketing plan. And, like the year before 2018, I’m sure that for 2018, you set some goals for your marketing efforts – tentative or clear. And, if you’re like some detailed business marketing experts, you most likely would have carved out a strategy to go along with plan.
But, not all business owners get to meet all of their marketing goals. And that’s okay. The challenge here now is how to see what worked and what didn’t work so well and improve on it for 2019 or even totally revamp whatever plan it was you had.
But first, What is a Marketing Plan? Your marketing plan is a detailed road-map to meet your goals.
You understand that whatever time you invest to create a solid plan is perhaps the best time you’ll invest for 2019. This helps you work through new strategies, issues, ideas, and numbers.
So, how can you position your business for growth in 2019?
Review your 2018
Every business owner towards the end of the year, looks back to see how much they have accomplished during the course of the year. They might take it a step further by reviewing some of the things that went wrong and what went right too. These types of reviews are not uncommon, neither should they be.
Anyone who has run any plan whatsoever understands the power of reviews. A review of past actions and activities helps you see how much you were able to accomplish and know where you need to make improvements.
We have created a little template you can just download, fill and have all the important things automatically calculated for your review.
2. Look out for Businesses that made Hits in your Industry this Past Year
Of course they must have done something right! You want to take a look at their social media page, Email marketing, Search engine optimization (SEO), and any other thing you think they do. This will give you loads of insight on what works for your industry. Look out for the specific channels that they use that drive the most results.
A very handy tool you might want to use to spy at your competitors is www.similarweb.com
To support whatever plans and strategy you want to come up with eventually with smart insights, it’s important that you look out for the likely trends in online marketing in your industry today. Why? Because they are set to set the pace for online marketing in 2019. Look out for this and align your business with it.
One thing is common with every business that wins in the digital space. They are businesses that look out for trends and opportunities and seize them before their competitors do. When everyone around them is sceptical about what to implement and what not to, they look at the available data they have and take the bull by the horn.
3. Be Clear on what you want your 2019 to be like
It’s not just okay to have goals in marketing. Time and time again, certain features have set goals that get actual results from goals that don’t. Businesses that are successful have SMART goals.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic / Relevant
T – Time-Bound
When you sit to make plans with your team for how the 2019 Online marketing would go, do you just hover over what you expect to achieve, or do you set clear actionable goals?
Marketing strategies that will succeed in 2019 are those of businesses who know what they are setting out to achieve in specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, relevant and time-bound ways before they hit the ground running.
Example: I will receive 500 orders for my autogele monthly in 2019.
4. Ask your Customers why they Buy from You
Yes, many business owners believe they know the need they meet in the market. But, often find that there’s a difference between that and why their customers actually buy.
Ask your customers why they chose you over your competitors. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that you know.
The particular reason why your present customers chose you should be your point in acquiring new customers.
In Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, he explains that today’s consumers do not simply buy what you offer but the reason why you do what you do. Sinek explains that you should lead with ‘Why’. You should know why your customers are your customers. A clear purpose bound marketing strategy is set to get the attention of consumers in 2019.
When working on that marketing plan for 2019, ensure that you are clear on the ‘Why’ and that your marketing is inspirational. Ensure that this is communicated through all of your marketing efforts.This not only ensures for short term marketing success, but for long term brand loyalty.
5. What does your Customer Journey look like?
The next place you want to look at is the various stages of the customer journey that a potential customer/client has to go through before they finally make the decision to buy from you.
There are three stages:
- The Awareness Stage
- The Consideration Stage
- The Decision Stage
Understanding what stage of the customer journey the people you are marketing to are on would enable you segment them appropriately and target each segment with the right content. For instance, it would be odd for you to send a freemium or discount email to a customer who is already actively engaged with your products / service.
One way to do this is by using the information you have of them to segment them appropriately. Have a clear understanding of your Buyer persona and look at the various steps they are likely to take before making that one decision to buy from you.
One other thing you want to look at in mapping out the customer journey is the marketing funnel. Hubspot’s Flywheel has, however, revolutionized the way that the customer journey is viewed today. So, we’ll be working with the flywheel instead. Why? Because it is the updated version of the funnel and it produces much better results.
In the Flywheel we’re looking at three stages: Attract, Engage, Delight. You see, the problem with the funnel is that it stops at the point where the lead is converted. Nothing is said about creating an experience for your existing customers so much so that your business is able to tap into the greatest form of marketing – Word of Mouth.
The Flywheel brings balance to how marketing is approached. It helps business owners learn about and meet the behavioural patterns of today’s consumer and their demands which keep changing.
When you are able to delight your existing customers, you turn them to loyal customers who spread the word about what you do.