New Year Marketing Planning…but it’s Easter already!! January 14th, 2013
The Christmas decorations had only just been shelved and the last mince pie had only just been digested when I ventured out to restock. It began ordinarily enough – just my trolley and me - but imagine my surprise when I was faced with an entire aisle of Easter eggs. Wall to wall chocolate. Surely not! Easter is two-and-a-half months away!
Then it struck me. The supermarket timetable is an incredibly useful guide to marketing planning. Some of your marketing plans should be in sync with the supermarket shelves.
Planning Ahead Relieves Pressure
A business marketing plan is like a road map or a TomTom. You should be able to look at it and quickly see where you are, where you want to be and the most effective route to get there. A good plan should be simple and succinct.
Each plan should include the following eight sections/headings:
- Current Performance
- Business Strengths
- Business and Marketing Objectives (goals)
- Marketing Strategy
- The Marketing Mix
- Action Plan with Budget
- Opportunities and Challenges
- Monitor and Evaluate.
The action plan is the most time consuming part of a marketing plan. It should be done by month. Start by setting out 12 pieces of A4 paper on your dining table labelled by month. Next, rule each page into three sections with the headings
- Magazine/Print and PR Opportunities
- Online marketing
- Other Opportunities.
Magazine editors plan two to three months ahead. They will be working on Easter editions now. Most will have already decided on the theme of each edition for the year ahead so you can call your targeted magazines and find out which editions you should focus on.
Magazine and PR opportunities generally need a big lead time so use the supermarket shelves as a guide. Easter eggs on shelves – you should be planning your Easter marketing now. Christmas decorations hit the shelves in September. If you want magazine coverage in
November/December, your monthly action plan should list all of your Christmas marketing ideas in August/September. If you have seasonal products or services, planning is crucial.
For example, if you are a photographer who focuses on outdoor family shoots, plan now for the warmer months.
The advantage of online marketing is that publication and advertising is more immediate. But it is still good to plan at least a month ahead.
The key is setting out your goals and writing down a month-by-month action plan. Otherwise, you will blink and Christmas baubles will be back on the shelves.
Kate Miranda is the Director of Mumpreneur Marketing, a London-based marketing and PR consultancy dedicated to business mums. She also runs monthly DIY marketing workshops. Kate is currently offering a 30% discount on marketing plans. Visit
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