3 Simple Steps to Stay On Track with Your Marketing This Year

Is one of your goals for the new year to do a better job of staying on track with your marketing initiatives? If so, here are some suggestions. Put in some work now to simplify your efforts throughout the year.

 

1. Build your editorial calendar (for the next 12 months)
It’s easy to get so busy serving your customers that you let your own marketing slip. To avoid a lapse in your communications, build your editorial calendar now so that you can stay on track all the way through December.

 

Keep in mind, creating an editorial calendar doesn’t mean you’re “stuck” with every detail in it—you have the freedom to change. In fact, I shifted gears several times last year and published content that wasn’t in my original plan. But, having a solid plan ensures that you always have something on the schedule.

 

2. Develop your marketing budget (for the next 24 months)
In addition to your content marketing, plan and budget for your overall marketing initiatives. Whether it’s a direct mail campaign, ad, conference, or a workshop that you want to teach, it helps to plan ahead. List everything in a spreadsheet along with the associated costs and find out what resources you want to allocate this year, leaving room for unexpected opportunities.

 

Planning and budgeting adds a level of discipline necessary for successful marketing. In addition it significantly reduces your costs for items such as registration fees, travel costs, and media placement.

 

Why 24 months instead of 12? If you make your list and realize you’re over budget, you can either move some items to next year or simply change your role. For example, instead of exhibiting at a particular conference, you can attend this year and plan to exhibit next year.

 

There’s nothing worse than realizing in June that you’ve vaporized your entire marketing budget! Plan ahead to avoid unexpected surprises and missed opportunities.

 

3. Set up a system to track your efforts
Website analytics, social media analytics, leads, conversions—are you measuring these key pieces of data? How well did you perform last year? Which marketing efforts generated the highest return?

 

If you’re shrugging your shoulders, you’re in trouble. Successful marketing is data-driven. This year, get some systems in place to measure your efforts. You might find out that you’ve been wasting time and money in one area, and missing huge opportunities in another.

 

A few easy items to implement are:

  • Google Analytics for your website
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Set up a CRM to keep track of contacts and leads

 

Don’t just install these items. Monitor and analyze the data. Use it to track your progress and make improvements.

 

Get Started!
These three simple tasks will set the foundation for your 2015 efforts. Make your marketing easy this year and take the time to plan ahead. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Need help creating your marketing plan for 2015? Get in touch, I’m happy to help.

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Robyn Short

robyn@atcr8v.com

Robyn is a Creative Problem Solver who lives at the intersection of design and business. Her company, All Things Creative, provides branding, design, and marketing assistance to businesses who are serious about growing to the next level. Follow Robyn on Twitter.

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