Annual marketing plans are important to keeping businesses organized and goal-oriented. But the best marketing plans usually have one thing in common: flexibility.
In order for your marketing efforts to be successful, you have to be open to changing them up once in awhile. For example, if there’s a change in your industry, you should be ready to respond.
Or if there’s a new social platform that you can use to reach customers, you should at least consider using it, even though you couldn’t necessarily plan for it at the beginning of the year. And certain pop culture events could even tie into your marketing efforts throughout the year. But you have to be ready to act right away. And that means your plan has to leave room for last-minute changes.
Technology makes that flexibility even more important. People are constantly connected to brands and news via social media and mobile apps. And customers like seeing brands that are in tune with the trends. So that means that your team should be constantly looking for new opportunities to tie news items or trends into your marketing materials.
Author Jim Joseph wrote about flexible marketing plans in a recent Entrepreneur post:
“By staying in tune to what’s happening online, you may uncover ways to reach out to your customers in real time. You may see something happening in pop culture or in the news that merits your participation, showing your customers that you are present in their lives. You may see a development in your industry that warrants your point of view, proving your leadership.”
Aside from those news items that might fit into your marketing materials, Joseph also pointed out a few other ways your marketing plan might change over the year. Those include: activity from your competitors, evolving customer attitudes and behavior, marketplace fluctuations, and sales attainment.
The bottom line is that your marketing plan should never really be completed. Instead, you should consider it to be a work in progress so that you can continue to work and improve it throughout the entire year.
More in: Marketing Strategy
Flexibility Photo via Shutterstock