‘Tis the season! As 2019 winds to a close and the countdown to holiday celebrations begins, your business needs to be ready to go once 2020 hits. We’re helping you get started by offering 12 tips to boost your marketing planning and preparation for the new year.

  1. Conduct a marketing audit.

If it’s been a while since your business took a deep dive into its marketing strategy and performance, the end of the year is great time to make plans to do so. Partner with a professional who will give honest, objective feedback about where there are opportunities for improvement, how various effective approaches are, and how to enhance marketing initiatives to drive greater return on investment.

  1. Review your budget.

How much money will you have in 2020 to put toward marketing, and how are you going to allocate these funds? Are there specific areas you want to invest in further such as creating video content or revamping your website? Did radio ads convert better than television ads? Evaluate the return on investment over the past year to help guide your focus for this year’s spending.

  1. Look at the data.

Leverage analytics tools such as Google Analytics to get down to the nitty-gritty of performance. You don’t want to continue pouring time and money into strategies that data shows are not generating a meaningful return. Look at website traffic and referral sources to understand where users are coming from, find out what keywords are top hits, and learn how customers are interacting with your site.

  1. Run a competitor analysis.

You know what your business is doing, but what about your competitors? Take a closer look at their campaign strategies and how they’re reaching customers. Are there certain emotional appeals they’re making? Aspects of the product or service they’re focused on? Promotional deals they’ve been running? Look at how they interact with customers across social media and what type of content they’re generating. This information can give your team valuable insight about your competitor’s strategies.

  1. Research the latest trends.

Trends change all the time, so figure out what’s gaining momentum for 2020. Some areas to look into are podcasting, video content, voice search, AI, automation, personalization, and the customer experience. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll eventually get left behind as competitors tackle more innovative and cutting-edge approaches. Keep pace with how the industry is changing and what you need to do to stay ahead.

  1. Update buyer personas.

Take a critical look at who you are marketing to and what is important to them. Go back through your buyer personas and see where changes need to be made to better align with your target audience. Use data to add detail and guide insight as you decide where to focus your marketing efforts for the new year.

  1. Refine segmentation.

As you update your buyer personas, it’s also a good time to tweak segmentation. Your business can’t be everything to everyone, and not every group responds to the same tactics. While millennials and Gen Z may seem like the same, when you break down the facts about their buying habits, you discover that they’re actually quite different. For your marketing strategy to be most effective, understand the differences, and then tailor your marketing accordingly.

  1. Plan content.

Now is the time to plan your editorial calendar for the year. Highlight certain holidays or times of the year that you want to promote a specific product or service. Come up with overarching themes for content that carry through the month or quarter. This will help you continue generating content on a regular basis and give structure and cohesion to what you’re sharing.

  1. Set goals.

Step back and look at the upcoming year as a whole. Determine long-term goals that you want to achieve by this time next year. Do you want to expand your presence in a new market? Grow website traffic by a certain percentage? Once you have your main goals, you can break them down into smaller milestones to track your progress and keep momentum going.

  1. Collaborate.

Every person on your team has their specific strengths and ideas. Invite others to share what they see as the greatest opportunities and challenges that your business faces. Work together to figure out how to adjust your marketing strategy to address these issues. The first idea is not always the best one, so collaboration is key in finding the most effective and innovative strategies.

  1. Get everyone on board.

Share your marketing strategy with the whole business and educate others on the part they play in driving success. Every single person is an influencer, so how they promote themselves and the brand says something about the business. Give employees the knowledge, tools, and support necessary to promote an exceptional customer experience no matter where they fit into the process.

  1. Celebrate your successes.

The year is nearly over. Take the time to celebrate all of the business’ achievements, big and small. Reflect on positive customer feedback and reviews that shine a spotlight on everything that went right. Recognize employee accomplishments and the role they have played in growing the business and making it more successful.

Get 2020 started on the right foot and make the most of the next 12 months of marketing by partnering with YGL Enterprises for all of your strategic marketing and branding needs. Let us guide the way as you customize and refine your approach to optimize results. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on building a focused strategy to realize marketing solutions.