You Should Already Be Planning Next Year’s Marketing – Here’s Why

Planning next year's marketOne does not simply throw together a campaign. Or a website. Or a brand identity. Great marketing takes strategy – and strategy takes time.

But let’s face it: January is a blur. Before we know it, 2016 will be half over. If you want to start off right in 2017, you need to start planning now.

That’s where I’d love to help. The planner in me is happy to share some guidelines for getting a jump on things. Let’s take a look, shall we? 


Revisit. Start by looking at your existing marketing plan. Remove stale ideas and think about incorporating new ones. As new technologies enter the landscape, ask yourself whether, for instance, live-streaming video like Periscope makes sense for your audience – but don’t include something just because it’s new.


Research. Next, what information are you missing? What do you need to know about your audience, whether B2C or B2B? Where do they spend their time? What media outlets do they trust? What types of messages affect them most strongly?


Key messaging. Review or outline your organization’s mission, vision, values and current talking points. Be sure to address what products or services you offer and what sets you apart from competitors. Key messaging informs everything you do: website copy, social media content, spokesperson talking points, etc. You must define this before you implement any marketing tactics, or you risk pouring time and money into the wrong places – particularly as you approach creative. Get the words right first.

“Revisit. Research. Key Message. Tactics. Budget.”


Tactics. All that research and key messaging will help you determine the most effective tactics to meet your goals. As you start picking launch dates for these things, just remember that each tactic takes time to execute. Each one will vary according to the scope of the project, but here are a few good rules of thumb:

  • Website? Start at least six months before projected launch.
  • TV spot? At least three months before station deadline.
  • Social media contest? At least two months before launch.


Budget. By Q4 you should know your marketing budget for the next year. Time to prioritize those funds. What’s the biggest hole? Where can you get the biggest bang for your buck? Allocate those funds throughout the entire year so you don’t end up rushing to spend remaining marketing dollars on a hastily thrown-together plan next November and December.

Need help with any or all of these steps? We live for this work. Contact us.

Tags: Branding & Advertising

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