MADE 2024 Planning TipsJames Simpson
As 2023 starts to wind down, 2024 planning is right around the corner. Whatever that means for your marketing team, we wanted to provide you with some planning fundamentals for you and your team to focus on.
Whether you sit down and create a full marketing plan—which we highly recommend—or discuss broad strokes with your team there are a couple of topics that most marketing planning conversations will involve. Today, let’s dive into goal setting, brainstorming, identifying your best marketing channels, design considerations, and a few things to avoid while planning for next year.
The adage goes that goals are the road map to success. While that saying might need to be modernized to include something about Google Maps, the idea has certainly withstood the test of time. Without knowing where you are going, it’s impossible to know how to get there. Anybody can make goals, but the tough part? Setting good ones.
Good goals are S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. They identify what you will achieve and what KPIs will be used to measure achievement. They are realistic and are relevant to your success as an organization. And finally, they have a timeframe attached to them. This helps with accountability and measurability. S.M.A.R.T. goals act as the backbone of the rest of your planning process.
Now this doesn’t need to be an “all-hands” creative hurricane, but it’s worth spending some time to develop new marketing ideas for next year. Take this opportunity to be honest and reflective. Consider what has performed well and what’s lagged behind. This is an opportunity to discuss adjustments to your messaging and campaigns so that they can more effectively accomplish your goals. Really let it flow here; there’s time to narrow down these ideas as they’re implemented.
Marketing channels are all the places your company can reach its audience and devote marketing dollars. Traditionally, there are billboards, television ad placements, print ads, and live events. In the digital age, channels like social media and websites have become crucial, as well as lesser thought-of channels like SEO. Take some time to consider where you should focus your efforts next year. If you’re already on social media, do you need to increase your volume or expand to another platform? Or maybe you should consider officially shutting down your dead X account. Remember, all the decisions and plans you make should be goal-oriented and research-backed.
Design and Branding
The new year can be a good time to ensure that your branding and design are up-to-date with the rest of your messaging. Does your logo still match the way you talk about your company? If not, you might want to consider adjusting your design. All the components of your branding should synergize with each other and the rest of your communications. If you’re curious about how your brand is doing in terms of identity, personality, and marketing, download our brand checklist to self-assess your company.
As much as there is to include and do, there are a few items that you should avoid during your planning process. First, don’t plan without input. Your marketing plan should synergize with the rest of your business plan and conversations with other departments can provide useful insight for developing your plan. Secondly, don’t just rinse and repeat from last year. We covered this a bit in the “brainstorming” section, but it’s worth repeating: you should allow yourself to reflect and make changes and adjustments where needed to allow for more success. Finally, don’t set unrealistic expectations. Remember S.M.A.R.T. goals? What does the “A” stand for? Goals should be achievable and relevant to your company's success. For a more in-depth look at these planning pitfalls, read our earlier blog on the subject.
Planning can be daunting, but hopefully, by tackling just the fundamentals, you can set yourself up for a successful 2024.