The days are shorter and darker, the shops are full of tinsel, and 2022 is coming to an end. And we love this time of year! No, not because there are offers on chocolate and Prosecco in every supermarket (although that’s a bonus!). We love this time of year because it’s time to plan for 2023, and nail that marketing plan.
Harsh fact: winging it rarely works.
So, silence your phone and grab a cuppa. Get comfy and enjoy the Golddust Marketing guide to planning your marketing for 2023.
Step One – Define Your Budget
If you’re not a natural when it comes to numbers, it’s probably a good move to book a call with your Accountant. Once you have a picture of your overall business financial health, you can decide what you want your marketing spend to be. As a general rule of thumb, somewhere between 6% – 10% of your total sales revenue is an industry standard for a marketing budget.
Step Two – Review
Firstly, do you know how much you’ve spent on marketing this year, and how you’ve spent it? Your
marketing spend can account for a huge proportion of your annual expenditure, and if left unchecked, can easily run away with you. Once you add up all of your marketing outlay you may be in for a nasty surprise if you’ve taken the “winging it” approach.
Marketing encompasses the whole shebang: from your business networking meetings, social media advertising, corporate giveaways, exhibitions, and everything in between that tells the world about your business, products, and services.
Once you’ve collated your activities for the last twelve months, take a look at how much they cost. It’s easy to sign-off an idea without appreciating the financial investment but several months later, it may not appear to have been such a bright idea.
Now here’s the biggie: what worked? And more importantly, what tanked?
Step Three – Plan
The obvious starting point here is to eliminate the money-pit activities that didn’t give you a return on your investment (ROI). We’ve worked with so many companies who spend a fortune on an exhibition or trade show, but the ROI is next to nothing – usually because they fail to follow up after the event, but that’s another blog waiting to be written!
Start to build your spend for next year by accounting for the “must-haves”, such as networking costs. Don’t forget to include annual membership fees as well as monthly ongoing meeting fees.
Einstein was spot-on when he said “Insanity is doing the
same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Eliminate the things that didn’t work so well, and brainstorm the hell out of new, exciting opportunities to market your business.
Top Tip: be realistic! Hannah can help you with this if brainstorming isn’t your bag.
A successful marketing plan should embrace the entire marketing mix of the four Ps: product, price, placement, and promotion.
· What is your product and what makes it stand out in the marketplace?
· What’s the price-point, and what are your target customers willing to pay for it?
· Where is your product available? Hopefully, it’s where your customers are hanging out!
· How are you promoting it? Online, brochures, trade shows, mailshots ….? A joint marketing campaign can be very effective, rather than relying on one outlet, such as a Facebook ad.
Step Four – Budget
Once you have your wish list for the next twelve months, and an idea of how much you want your overall marketing budget to be, grab a calendar.
“Surely, the easiest thing to do is to just divide my annual budget by 12 to give me a monthly marketing spend?”
Think about times of the year that your business has sales peaks. For example, a florist will have an increase in sales around St Valentine’s Day – but there are a lot of florists competing for the same
business at the same time. In this case, you might want to allocate slightly more to your marketing activities in January/February to market yourself than at other, quieter months of the year – although a constant presence is always a good move too!
Plot peak times on the calendar, together with events that your business may be able to piggy-back onto with marketing activities: maybe major sporting events such as Wimbledon, The Ashes, or FA Cup Final, or the Coronation of King Charles III in May.
Top Tip: It makes sense to allocate slightly more money to seasonable peaks for your business model than to spread it equally throughout the year.
Step Five – Go For It!
Hopefully, we’ve whetted your appetite to rid the “winging it” principle, and you’re all fired up to have a successful year ahead.
If you’re all out of ideas, we’d love to help you with some unique, stand-out genius ways to elevate your marketing and sales throughout 2023 and beyond.