Does your business have a marketing plan?
A marketing plan outlines your business’s goals, objectives and strategies for the next year. It helps you keep track of your marketing efforts and helps you evaluate how well your plans are working throughout the year. It’s vital to your business’s success.
Find out how to create a marketing plan for 2023 for your business by using our step-by-step approach.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is essentially a road map for your business. It outlines your business goals, strategies and plans for achieving those goals. It helps you to focus on what is important to your business’s success.
It’s also something that should be reviewed at least once a year and should include an honest look at your past results as well as identifying new opportunities to grow your business in the next year.
A good marketing plan should answer the following questions:
- What are my objectives? (e.g., increase sales by 10% in 2023)
- How much money do I need to achieve these objectives? (e.g., $250,000)
- Who are my target customers? (e.g., men aged 25-45 with children)
- How do I attract more customers? (e.g., by advertising on social media, conducting promotional events and offering discounts)
- What are my strategies for achieving these objectives? (e.g., improve customer service and reduce delivery time)
- How will I measure my performance against these strategies? (e.g., by tracking sales figures)
Does your business marketing plan answer these questions? If not, follow our handy guide below to help you create a marketing plan for your business for 2023.
Steps To Create A Marketing Plan for 2023
1) Review Where You’ve Been
Before you make a new marketing plan, review your old plan. Reflect on your business’s past marketing goals and results and ask yourself some questions to review your progress.
- Did you reach previous goals? If not, why?
- What tactics did you try? What worked well? What didn’t work?
- Did you have all of the resources you needed? What might you need to produce better results?
A good review helps you define what your next-steps should be.
2) Set New Business Goals
Goals change as your business grows and evolves. Take time each year (or even more frequently) to reflect on changes and set new objectives.
A key element of a good marketing plan is knowing what you want to accomplish. Set one or two primary business goals and a few secondary goals. Goals might be to:
- Launch new products
- Open new locations
- Increase sales
- Increase customer frequency
- Grow your brand visibility
- Improve customer experience
When you outline your new goals, don’t go it alone. Bring together any key stakeholders so you can discuss and set new business goals together.
3) Conduct an Audit
With your new set of business goals, take time to assess your current marketing situation. Audit your current marketing assets and efforts to see if you need to update or add new ideas to your marketing tool kit. This is an essential step if you want to create a marketing plan for 2023.
These assets can include:
- Marketing Assets: This includes all essential digital and print marketing materials such as brochures, website pages, business cards, signage, etc. Do they need to be updated?
- Marketing Channels: Do you have profiles and accounts on all relevant marketing channels (like social media)?
- Customer Data: Having the right system for collecting customer data is important. But your data needs to be accurate and up-to-date. If not, is it time to set up a customer data platform?
- Partners & Team: Who is available to help with your marketing needs? You may need to add people to your roster.
- Value Propositions: Are your value propositions and key differentiators still accurate and relevant?
- Buyer Personas: These need to be aligned with your current business goals and value propositions.
- Offerings: Which products and services are your primary focus this year? Are you adding new products or services?
- Pricing: Is your pricing strategy set in stone? Do you need to make adjustments?
4) Conduct Market Research
A good marketing plan requires you to know what others in your industry are doing with their marketing too. Take time to research your competitors and ask yourself these questions:
- Who are your competitors? What are they doing well? What are they not doing well?
- What trends in your industry might impact your business?
- If you have a physical location, what trends in your area might impact your business?
- What are the average costs and benchmarks for marketing tactics in your industry (e.g., average cost-per-click, the average open rate for emails, etc.).
5) Assign KPIs to Goals
Once you have an idea about what you need to do to be competitive in your market, it’s time to go back to your goals and make them more clear. Add key performance indicators (KPIs) to all of your goals.
KPIs assign values to your goals so it will be possible to measure your performance. For more tips on KPIs, check out this guide How to Define and Track your KPIs.
6) Set a Budget
When you have clear goals in front of you, it will be easier to know how much money you need to reach those objectives. Use your marketing research (that shows how much others in your industry are spending) and goals, and consider what budget you will need to reach assigned KPIs.
Think about the investment you will need to create or purchase needed marketing assets, outspend competitors, and reach new growth goals. (Tip: If you want to grow your business, then your budget will need to grow too.)
7) Choose Marketing Strategies & Set a Marketing Schedule
Now it’s time to start outlining your marketing plans. Choose the marketing strategies you believe will help you reach your goals, and begin to lay them out on a calendar.
Set dates for marketing campaigns, include campaigns that have produced good results in the past, and also set up campaigns to try and test. Use a calendar to both schedule launch dates as well as schedule the weeks leading up to each campaign. Include details on needed resources and deadlines so you are ready for each new campaign launch.
8) Develop a Plan to Measure Your Success
You can’t create a strategic marketing plan if you don’t include plans to reflect on the steps you take.
As you create a marketing plan for 2023, remember that you will need to be able to look back and assess your efforts. Set dates and deadlines to check in and review your work. Share data with key stakeholders, and set up data systems that make it possible for you to regularly check in and measure your success.
Your annual marketing plan is essential for navigating the upcoming year. But remember, it’s not written in stone; unforeseen circumstances will arise. You’ll want to be nimble enough to use data about what’s working and what’s not throughout the year to adjust.