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5 Steps to Creating a 2020 Marketing Plan that Gets Results

Friday, October 18, 2019

It’s that time again. The holidays are slowly creeping in, and the new year will be here before you know it. Have you started your marketing plan for 2020? 

If you haven’t, or even if you’ve got a jumpstart, you’ve landed in the right place. With this guide, you’ll walk away with five steps you can use to create a fool-proof plan for your 2020 marketing.

#1 START WITH YOUR GOALS
To form an intentional marketing plan, start with the basics. What are your goals for the following year? Is there a specific service you want to increase sales? Are you chasing a specific target customer? Are you launching a new product or opening a new location? Before we craft your plan, you need to clearly identify your goals before we can lay out a plan that’s going to get results. 

If you are new to setting marketing goals, the most important tip to start your 2020 marketing off right is to be specific. 

To do this, let’s start broad and then go narrow. If your overarching goal is brand awareness, let’s set smaller, measurable goals to achieve that. We could grow your email list from 800 to 2,000, increase your Facebook likes from 500 to 1,500, or reach a certain number of impressions with our ads each month. Having specific goals will help you develop a unique set of strategies to achieve them. 

Take a look at your services. Is there an area of service that needs more attention going into 2020? Rather than setting a goal to simply increase revenue for a service, a better marketing goal would be to increase traffic to those landing pages on your website. To make that happen, we’ll need identifiable tactics to direct traffic to those pages. 

Another broad goal might be increasing search engine optimization or SEO. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, and SEO strategy must be maintained over the long-term to be effective. A specific goal for increasing SEO would be to publish high-quality blogs for your business twice a month. Content marketing and blogging contribute directly to SEO, and there are many specific ways to create compelling content, rich with keywords that will boost your rankings and overall searchability. 

These are just a few examples, but it is important to  reflect on your personal situation, your overarching company objectives, and distill them into specific and measurable marketing goals. 

#2 GET TO KNOW YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Now that we know what areas we want to grow, let’s talk about who we are going to reach. When’s the last time you assessed your current clients? Are they your ideal clients? Do you know what they really look like on a personal level? Understanding who these individuals are will help you decide on the specific message you will deliver, and how you are going to reach them. 

Many companies spend time trying to be everything to everyone, but if you want to create a measurable, intentional marketing plan, we need to identify your target customers. To start, you can categorize them into groups or segments based on how many different customer types you have. From there, it’s time to dig a little deeper and create customer profiles, sometimes known as buyer, audience, or user personas. 

To build your profile, start with identifying the client’s industry. What events or issues are happening in their industry that you can capitalize on or provide value around? Are there specific triggers that cause them to search for your product or service? Understanding timing and pain points allow you to provide the right message at the right time. Next, get to know their motivators. What feeling or emotion are they after when it comes to purchasing your product or service? What about your product or service will make them happier, healthier, wealthier, or save them time or money? 

Demographics such as age, income, location, and more are important. However, we encourage you to put an emphasis on specific behaviors and actions. What are common objections you may experience in marketing your product or service to them? Can you create a message that addresses those upfront and combat common misperceptions or hesitations. Knowing this will help you connect with your customers on a deeper level, and build stories and strategies that speak directly to their needs. 

When you have your target client in mind with an understanding of how they think, feel, and make decisions, you can create an effective marketing plan that focuses on them at all times. 

#3 SET THE RIGHT BUDGET
If you have no idea what your marketing budget is or how to set one, you aren't alone. While there is no perfect mix, there are some industry standards to help get you started. We’ve lined up the key things you need to calculate your ballpark budget:

Gross Revenue
The first step is to know your total revenue. You’ll need to calculate your gross revenue which is revenue received before any deductions or allowances. For our example, let’s say our gross revenue is $500,000. 

Economic Sector
To keep it simple, we are going to look at the percentage of marketing expenses per economic sector. From the 2019 CMO survey, a collaborative effort between Deloitte, Duke University’s School of Business, and the American Marketing Association, the below percentages are recommended:

  • B2B Products: 8.6%
  • B2B Services: 8.7%
  • B2C Products: 9.8%
  • B2C Services: 15.6%

According to the $500,000 gross revenue established above, our marketing budgets would range as follows:

  • B2B Products: $43,000
  • B2B Services: $43,500
  • B2C Products: $49,000
  • B2C Services: $78,000

Using your numbers and your economic sector, you can identify a starting budget for 2020. 

#4 INTEGRATE. DON'T ELIMINATE.
When you built your ideal client profiles, you might have noticed you are marketing across different generations and demographics, which can make it difficult to pinpoint the right channels to reach your audience. The good news is that you can boost your brand awareness and spread your message across multiple channels with integrated marketing. This approach allows you to focus on one consistent message, and align your diverse customer communication preferences. 

With integrated marketing campaigns, you can reinforce a single concept in person, on social media, through print advertisements, and more. Sharing consistent messages in a variety of places will help your audience retain the content that you are sharing. The world moves quickly, and attention spans even quicker, so it is important to keep the frequency of your messaging a top priority. In addition, if your sales cycle is long or your business isn’t as simple as “add to cart, check out”, canvassing your brand across channels will help keep your company top of mind when a prospect is ready to purchase a product or service you offer. 

#5 PLAN, BUT BE FLEXIBLE
If you are running behind on your 2020 marketing, that’s okay. You don’t have to have every single social post, event, and advertisement planned down to the minute it’s supposed to happen. What’s important when planning is to create a general framework for your marketing, quarter by quarter. Identify the campaigns you want to run, the channels they will be distributed on, and the deadlines you need to meet. By having your larger, integrated campaigns loosely scheduled throughout the year, you have the flexibility to shift priorities as needed. This allows for new topics, trends, and content you customers will find relevant. 

While there are many things to consider when creating a marketing plan, this is a quick framework to get you started before this year runs out. These five steps will help you begin drafting a plan that’s intentional, flexible, and one you can finally stick too. 

If you are asking yourself, “how can I get all this done before 2020 hits?” or “can’t somebody else do it?” I've got good news for you. UNANIMOUS can help. 

At UNANIMOUS, we are a partner and extension of your business. If you are marketing team of one, great, we’ll be your copywriter, digital expert, and graphic designer too. Maybe you have a full team and you just need help with the strategy; we’ve got the tools and frameworks to do that as well. We’ve worked with clients of all sizes and industries, and we take a customized approach to each project. Our outside perspective, strategic direction, and decades of experience bring new ideas, approaches, and insights to your marketing.  

If you are looking for an expert team to collaborate with you side by side on your 2020 marketing plan, contact Mike at Mike@BeUNANIMOUS.com today to get started.