Your 2012 Marketing Plan - Crafting Your Framework

It's a fresh new year, full of possibilities. Make the most of it with a strong marketing plan. Done right, your plan will carry you through the year, supporting your goals and keeping you from dangerous foxholes like procrastination and loss of focus.

Scaffolding. Flickr user Maurice Koop.
The most important part of your new plan?

Your overall business strategy - this is the basis for the framework that is your marketing plan.

Why is this so crucial?

Your marketing plan isn'about checking off boxes and making sure you're dutifully providing content for each channel. Your marketing plan supports your larger business strategy and your overall goals.

That said, what kinds of goals do you have in 2012?

- To open a new location?
- To increase the size of your business?
- To find customers in other parts of the world?
- To reach a new vertical - like parents or teachers or hikers?

These kinds of things are your business goals and your marketing plan supports those goals. The tactics you put into place support the strategies you've decided to employ to grow your business.

Here's how the framework operates:

Let's take the first goal as an example -  to open a new location.

Your strategy is - "We're going to open a new location in 2012, and that will increase our business by x percent because we will be able to accommodate x more customers than we could with one location."

Your marketing plan supports this strategy because it's a framework for driving traffic to your new store. You'll be able to add to this framework with marketing tactics like ads in local papers and their web sites, announcements on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, participation in check-in applications like FourSquare, videos, and emails with grand opening specials to your email subscriber base. You can use your marketing calendar to schedule all of these things to provide a strong, consistent flow of traffic to your store. Your calendar provides a framework that supports your overall goals.

Here's the best part. If you're thinking of a tactic and wondering whether to use it, you can just ask yourself if it supports the business goal you've already identified - in our case today, to open a new location. Tactics that don't support this strategic goal don't belong in our framework.

Need help starting your 2012 Marketing Plan? Drop me a line and let me know. I can help.

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