If you’re still thinking of what to do to increase business in 2011, then you’re already late in planning for a successful 2012.
Marketing is an activity that is best done a minimum of 3 months out. In some cases, 2 or more years of active planning is a must. On the whole though, 3 – 6 months of bringing a plan to fruition is what it takes to see the goals we set become realities.
What does that mean for you?
If you haven’t started your marketing plan for 2012 yet, work it into your agenda for this week!
What’s the first step? Evaluate what worked and what didn’t in 2011. Tweak what can be tweaked, keep what did the job and get rid of anything else.
Second step? Well, since we’re starting so late: plan for your first quarter marketing needs before all else, because you may already need to implement some action steps for anything that you want accomplished in that timeframe.
Third step? Evaluate any new marketing tactics that you haven’t tried before. Maybe it’s time to hire a marketing consultant to evaluate what you’ve done and make recommendations for different approaches. Just because something works for your brother/neighbor/friend/competitor/business-next-door, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you. There are new marketing technologies out there – do you know what they are and/or how to use them effectively? A fresh eye can see things that you may have overlooked – if it’s a professional marketing consultant’s eye, they may not only see it, but advise you on how to get the most bang from your buck/time/energy.
Fourth step? Put the plan together. Make sure that you include any trade shows, tabletop shows, events, advertising, mailings, e-mails, personal networking and other marketing avenues that you are pursuing. Develop a calendar so that these events don’t sneak up on you. If you calendar the event and then schedule backwards for all the prep work you need to do to get ready for them, you will project a better image with the finished product and usually save time, money and aggravation along the way.
Fifth step? Implement the plan.
Sixth step? Yes, folks, implementation is not the last step. Reviewing the plan on at least a quarterly basis and tweaking as necessary is the last step in the process.
OK, then. On your mark…. Get set… Plan for 2012!