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Creating a Marketing Plan for 2024: Why It's Important and How To Do It

Creating a Marketing Plan for 2024: Why It's Important and How To Do It

It’s that time of year…and no, we’re not talking about putting up the inflatable reindeer. Now is the time to start thinking about how you’ll market your business next year!

let's do this

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Without a solid marketing plan in place, you’re pretty unlikely to meet your business goals for the next year. 

After all, marketing is what drives your target audience to buy. 

A marketing plan provides you and your team with the direction and actionable strategies you need to make your company revenue and growth goals a reality. Heading into the new year without a marketing plan for your business is like attempting to build a house without first drawing a blueprint.

So let’s set you up for success in the new year. Here’s everything you need to know about creating a marketing plan for 2024.

Marketing Plan vs Marketing Strategy: What’s the Difference?

what's the difference

First things first, let’s clear up some common confusion around marketing plans and marketing strategies. So, what’s the difference?

Your marketing strategy focuses on the big picture of your marketing: what you hope to achieve in the long term and why. It’s the overarching framework that guides your marketing efforts. 

Your marketing plan, on the other hand, lays out how you’ll achieve your goals within a specified period of time: the tactics and activities you’ll implement, the assets, processes, and systems you’ll need, and the estimated costs and predicted results of your efforts. 

A marketing plan is essentially a roadmap that helps you implement your marketing campaigns and measure your success.

Benefits of Planning Your Marketing for the New Year

Before we talk about putting your marketing plan together, let’s take a quick look at how planning out your marketing strategies for the year can benefit your business. 

Get a Zoomed-Out View of Your Marketing Efforts

zoom out

Creating a marketing plan gives you a wide-lens perspective on how your marketing campaigns fit together throughout the year. It helps you create marketing that’s proactive, building on your success from one campaign to the next and engaging your audience more effectively.

It also helps you identify gaps in your strategy and opportunities for improvement you might not otherwise see. Planning ahead also ensures you don’t miss out on important seasons, holidays, or other time-sensitive opportunities.

Keep Your Team on the Same Page

get your team on the same page

When you have multiple objectives to meet and a team of people working on various aspects of your marketing, things can get confusing if you don’t have a plan in place to direct your efforts.

Your marketing plan coordinates your company’s objectives to keep everyone on the same page. It helps make sure everyone knows what needs to be accomplished when, and who is responsible for each element of your marketing strategy. It makes what could be a complicated process much more simple — all they have to do is follow the plan!

Set (and Stick to) a Budget

stick to a budget

Building your 2024 marketing plan now will help you determine how you’ll need to allocate your marketing budget to reach your goals. When done well, a marketing plan can give you a solid estimate of how much your marketing efforts will cost and ensure you don’t run out of budget before the end of the year.

A marketing plan can also help you make better decisions for your marketing dollars and stay focused on the activities that yield the best ROI for your efforts.

Set Measurable Goals…and Reach Them!

reach your goals

A marketing plan helps ensure your marketing goals are aligned with your company’s vision, mission, and overarching business goals. It keeps you focused on tangible targets that will help you boost your business and sales performance throughout the year.

In addition, a marketing plan helps you stay consistent with your marketing efforts by giving you the nudges you need to keep moving toward your goals.

How To Create a Marketing Plan for the New Year

1. Take a Look Back

take a look back

Before you start creating a marketing plan for 2024, you first need to evaluate your performance, efforts, and goals from previous years. Consider:

  • Who was your primary audience?
  • What content performed well? What didn’t?
  • Which platforms received the most engagement?
  • How was your budget allocated, and what was your return on that investment?
  • What do you want to change for next year?

To avoid past mistakes and repeat proven successes, it’s important to look back at what did and didn’t work for you in the past.

While you’re at it, gather your most recent financial reports (including operating budgets and profit and loss sheets) as well as sales figures for the past few years. This data will all help inform your marketing plan for the next year.

2. Take Stock of Where You Are Now

take stock

Next, take a good look at how your company is doing right now. Start with a SWOT analysis, listing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Then, make a list of your competitors, intended customers, and current distribution channels. 

Take a close look at the competition: What are your competitors doing that seems to be working for them? What messaging are they using? What keywords are they ranking for? How do they position their brand? What audience are they targeting?

Identify their strengths and consider gaps in their approach. What are they missing? What can you offer that will give you a competitive advantage? 

Do some market research as well. Thoroughly researching current market conditions can give you information about your market, direct competitors, and target audience, including their demographics, pain points, and ideal consumer experience.

Examine what marketing trends consumers are responding to most, as well as what types of content seem to resonate with your target audience. Identify market gaps that could position your business to reach a new or wider audience.

3. Refine Your Target Audience

refine your target audience

It’s a good idea to take some time each year to consider who you’re trying to reach — the demographics, pain points, and more of your target audience. Adapting your marketing to address the unique needs of your customer base will help you set smarter, more measurable goals.

Once you’ve done this, update your buyer personas to better reflect your ideal customer. This will help you adjust your marketing materials to better resonate with them. 

Need a refresher on buyer personas? Learn what buyer personas are and why they’re so important in this blog.

4. Do a Content Audit

Next, take an inventory of the content you already have, including blogs, landing pages, gated assets, and more. Look at how your content performed against the goals you set for it.

From there, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses in your current approach and discover where your content gaps lie as well as what needs to be updated (such as outdated data). This can reveal new opportunities to pursue over the next year.

5. Outline Your Goals and Objectives

outline your goals

Without clear goals, you’ll only end up wasting time and money with your marketing efforts. Now is the time to set clear, smart goals for your marketing for the next year.

Want to increase your Facebook followers by 20%? Add 100 new subscribers to your email newsletter? Bring in 10 new clients or (insert your desired $$ amount here) in new business? 

Whatever your objectives, set specific goals, indicating the date by which you want to complete them, what tactics you’ll use, and what team members are responsible for them.

6. Determine How You’ll Reach Those Goals

how will you reach your goals

Next, it’s time to consider how you’ll reach the goals you’ve set. What tactics will you use — email marketing, social media, paid ads, SEO, blogging? Which marketing channels will get you where you want to go?

Decide what to do and when your campaigns will run. Then put it on the calendar. After all, if it’s not on your calendar, it won’t happen!

Then work backward to determine the steps you’ll need to take to get those campaigns ready to run (blogs to write, videos to record, landing pages to build, etc.) as well as who will be responsible for those items, and get them scheduled as well.

7. Decide How You’ll Measure Your Results

how will you measure your results

If you’re not measuring it, you can’t know what works and what doesn’t. Choose which KPIs you’ll track to determine whether you’ve reached your goals or not. What you need to keep track of will vary depending on your goals, tactics, and the platforms you use. 

Think about what will show you if a campaign was successful: Is it sales? Conversions? Clicks? Subscribers? Determine the metrics you need to track for each objective, how you’ll track them throughout the year, and who will be responsible for reporting on them.

Learn all about key metrics in our FREE ebook: Key Metrics To Track for a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy!

8. Set a Marketing Budget

set a marketing budget

Next, it’s time to set your budget. It’s important to assign a specific budget for your marketing efforts so you don’t lose sight of the financial side of things as you implement your marketing plan. A well-thought-out budget helps your team know how much they can allocate for each campaign.

The simplest way to do this is to set aside a percentage of your revenue for marketing. A basic rule of thumb is to spend 2-5% of your revenue on marketing if you’re a B2B company, and 5-10% if you’re a B2C company.

You’ll also want to estimate how much it will cost to accomplish the objectives you’ve set and look at the previous year’s budget and performance metrics to determine how this year’s funds should be allocated.

Make sure to include some margin in your budget in case unexpected needs arise, such as major market changes. It’s generally better to estimate high and have leftover funds than to overextend yourself.

And finally, don’t forget to budget your time as well as your dollars. Do you have the staff needed to accomplish everything you want to do? Or do you need to hire or outsource some of your marketing efforts?

Want Help Creating a Marketing Plan for 2024? 

we can help!

Speaking of outsourcing, 😏 if you need help creating a marketing plan for 2024, Wild Fig Marketing has your back! Our team are pros at both marketing and strategy, and we can help you craft a plan to reach your goals for the next year.

Simply schedule a free, no-obligation exploratory call to discuss your needs and learn how we can help you have a successful 2024!

Outource Your Marketing Guide Inline


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