With the new year just around the corner, we know 2019 marketing plans are top-of-mind for fresh produce marketers. We agree that time is of the essence, so let’s dive right in: here is the simple, (virtually) pain-free approach we recommend for effectively laying out next year’s marketing plan.
Why You Need a Marketing Plan
Sure, you may have a good idea of what your marketing activities will be for the upcoming 12 months, but do you have a firm marketing plan to guide your efforts? Creating a marketing plan will mean that you have established a foundation around the logistics, resources, scheduling considerations and budget necessary to reach your brand’s goals over the year ahead. A finished plan not only provides a roadmap for the months ahead but also coordinates your team’s efforts and provides an opportunity to be proactive in your marketing efforts.
Get Started On Your Marketing
The more leg-work and research you do up front, the easier it will be put together your finished marketing plan!
- First and foremost, you should start by reviewing your mission statement! This simple act serves as a reminder to measure your ideas and proposed activities against the “True North” of your brand, allowing you to ensure all efforts and activities are aligned with your mission.
- Next, review and analyze the activities and goals from the previous year.
- Did you blow your goals out of the water…or did you fall short?
- What factors impacted these outcomes?
- What was successful that needs to stay the same, and what was unsuccessful that you need to alter or eradicate?
- Take stock of the tactics you have used in executing your marketing efforts. Most brands have focus areas that include email marketing, social media, advertising, tradeshows, public relations and influencer partnerships in their marketing efforts.
- Do you already have resources dedicated toward each tactic? If not, how will you find those resources? This is a good time to consider whether it would be advantageous to enlist the help of an agency partner or a new hire.
- What is the typical scheduling “flow” for your brand throughout the year? When are the busiest and slowest seasons of the year? Are there annual events that you need to note and plan for? This step seems simple, but walking through this process is extremely helpful for keeping your activities slated at the appropriate time of year.
- Touch base with your team: what are their objectives and goals for the year ahead? Are you ready to jump in to a big project—like a new website—this year? An in-depth conversation now can save you the headache of having to pivot your plan to align with the objectives of other areas of the business.
Putting Together Your Marketing Plan
Now that you’ve collected the foundational elements of your marketing plan, it is time to outline and organize these into one cohesive strategy. We like to use a simple spreadsheet to lay out our marketing plans, but grab that computer or notebook (or whatever method fits your team the best) and let’s get started!
- Start by filling in the known, non-negotiable elements about next year’s strategy. Include key dates and industry events, for example, right at the beginning.
- What activities from last year will you repeat this year?
- Add in seasonally relevant notes (changes in product availability, new product launches harvest, etc.)
After going through the above, you should know which areas of the plan need additional attention. Now, it’s time to bring together key members of the team for a brainstorming session to share creative approaches to fill in the remainder of your marketing needs—you may be surprised at what you all come up with!
Have additional marketing plan insight you’d like to add? Leave us a comment below, or tweet us @TheCoreBlog!