Posted by: Kristen Beireis, Trust Marketing Expert

2010As you reflect on your year and plan the next one, are you looking at your marketing?  It’s easy to look at business goals, but one of the main ways to reach your business goals is going to be marketing.  So, it’s important to make sure you investigate that side of your business too (along with customer service and a few others).

I’d like to propose a way of looking at your marketing that you may not have considered before. Get your journal, a notebook or a few pieces of paper out and get ready to write (don’t Ugh me!!  You want to be as successful or more successful next year, right?  Then write this stuff down!).

Start with a big picture view of your business from this year.

What was your big accomplishment this year?

What was your favorite part about working in your business this year?

Write any thoughts that come to your head down…no need to sensor, everything you write is RIGHT!

Now, break it down into smaller parts.

What goals did you reach or exceed this year?

What specific tasks, events, or projects allowed you to reach those goals?

What marketing did you do to support reaching those goals?

Which parts did you enjoy the most?

Write it down…remember, everything you write is RIGHT.

Gotta take the negative with the positive.

It would be nice to continue on with all the things that went right this year, but stopping to look at what went wrong can help you shape things for the next time.  So…

What didn’t go so well for you this year?

If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?

What marketing tasks would you skip or add this time?

Now, take all of this and apply it to next year.

Success usually means whatever you did worked!  So, use it again and tweak it so that it works even better next time.  Use what you learned from the projects that didn’t go so well and use it to beef up what DID go well.  Also, focus on the successful strategies that you enjoy doing (you are most likely to follow through if you enjoy it!).

What business goals would you like to reach in 2010?

What marketing strategies from this year are going to support you in reaching those goals?  (make  a list)

What new marketing strategies do you want to add in? (add to the list above)

What do you need to do to make each marketing strategy successful?  (make a list for each strategy, including answers to the below questions)

Who do you need to help you?

What materials do you need?

What systems need to be in place?

What technology do you need?

Finally, calendar it all out.

Get a marketing calendar.  Put all your ongoing marketing tasks in first.  Put the date you need to have materials/content created, then when you expect to have the final completed.

Then add any one time projects you want to do.  Mark a “start date” and a “launch date” or “finish date”.  You may want to have several other milestones in there mapped out, depending on the project.

Now you have your year of marketing planned out and ready to go. As you go through your year, go back to your notes from this exercise and check in to make sure you are keeping in mind those things that WERE successful in 2009.  You may want to make notes about these things as you go through 2010, so you have it when you are ready to plan 2011.

Get creative if you want with sticky notes, colored highlighters or whatever you want to play with…get your crayons out if you want.  It might just make things more fun!

So, what do you think?  Are you going to do this?  Let us know how this method works for you in a comment.

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