Starting Your Marketing Plan

So you you've been updating your Twitter account like a good kid, posting to Facebook often, but not too often, you make sure your blog and your web site always have fresh content, and you may finally get that press release done this week. For some reason, though, you feel like none of this is helping. The traffic just isn't coming.

Planning Essentials: Photo: Flicker user JacQueLyne
Why?

Because it's not part of a larger marketing strategy. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, web site, and PR are tactics, not strategies.  These tools play their part to support a larger plan. If you don't have a larger plan, then won't realize their true potential to grow your business.

OK, so now what?


I like to lay out an annual plan, mapping out the year and determining some major themes. Marketing events might include promotions around holidays, the launch of a catalog, a major web site update, and a quarterly PR push. This is also a good time to think about new product that will be launching in the next year, where that goes on your marketing calendar and what you'll be doing around it.

"But, I can't possibly think of every single tweet, Facebook update, or blog post I'm going to do for the next year!" you say.

And you're right. You'll plan those things out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on how you prefer to work. It's important, now, though, to lay out your year so you can see what needs to be done in advance. For example, if you're launching a major new product line in the next year, you'll need to build in time to update your web site, put together a new catalog, write a press release, and make sure the rest of your online properties are updated.

Your Takeaway?

Set a goal to put together a marketing plan for 2012 by the end of October. Think about what your major campaigns will be, and what you'll need to do to execute them. I'm happy to review what you've put together and offer my feedback. You can connect to me on twitter at @leahibraheem or on LinkedIn here.

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