By Laura Lake, About.com
It's that time of year where we begin to evaluate how well we did and start to develop new plans for the upcoming year. This year I'd like to suggest that you try something new, rather than creating a one-year marketing plan or a five-year marketing plan, why not try creating a 90-day plan?
While it's important to always monitoring your marketing it is vital in this economy to be diligent and watch where you spend your marketing dollars as well as track how effective your marketing campaigns are.
Why a 90-day plan?
· You can use it to clearly track progress in the short-term.
· You can use the data you gather over that 90-days to create a baseline that you can use to track your grand plan.
· It enables you to re-direct your plan if something is not working and do it quickly without worrying that it will effect your annual plan.
· Using 90-day increments enable you to stay in tune with change and meet the market demands, without detouring from your master goal.
· Your master plan will not become irrelevant, because your 90-day goals will continue to drive you the finish line.
What better time to get started than today? I've always noticed when working with companies to redo their marketing plan and build out a workable strategy that it ignites a new excitement about the business and the potential that may have been lost in the paperwork and busyness of day-to-day duties.
Are you ready to get started? Find a quiet place, sit down and spend some time evaluating and answering the following questions:
· What marketing worked well for my business in 2008?
· What marketing worked well, but could of done better in 2008?
· What marketing did I do in 2007 that didn't work well at all?
· The marketing that I did in 2008 that did well, performed well because:
· The marketing that I did in 2008 that failed, failed because:
· In the next 90-days, I define my target market as? Will I change the geography I target? Will I target a different income level or demographic of consumers? Will I target product-oriented users, service users or both?
· In 2008 my consumers could be defined by target market as?
· What marketing vehicles will I use in the next 90-days and why?
· I really need to work on enhancing, concentrating or revising my marketing message by:
· In the next 90-days my marketing budget will be?
Now use the answers to these questions and chart them on a 90-day timeline. Set your start date, your end date and what you will do in between. Evaluate weekly how your plan is working, make changes where you need to and adjust when necessary. When you list out what has to happen in the next 90-days, you'll have a clearer picture of priorities, a realistic working plan, and the results you'll generate.
Last step, don't forget to tell me how 90-day marketing plan worked for you.