As you gear up to create your 2024 marketing plan, it’s crucial to approach the process with a strategic mindset. By asking the right questions, you can uncover valuable insights and lay a strong foundation for your marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll explore eight essential marketing questions to ask yourself as you develop your 2024 marketing plan. These questions will guide you in making informed decisions and maximizing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Marketing Questions to Ask Yourself
Who is your target audience, and have they evolved over the past few months/years?
Understanding your target audience is the cornerstone of any successful marketing plan. As you delve into your 2024 marketing plan, take the time to reassess and analyze how your target audience may have changed. By staying attuned to shifts in consumer behavior and preferences, you can align your marketing initiatives to deliver maximum impact.
Example of Audience Evolution
In today’s fast-paced world, time is precious, and buyers value efficiency. With the rise of technology and busy lifestyles, virtual property tours have become increasingly popular in the real estate market. Agents are now leveraging cutting-edge tools such as virtual reality (VR) or high-quality video tours to provide immersive experiences for remote buyers.
Are you planning your media buys annually?
One of the struggles we often hear from local business owners is how far out they should plan for their advertising. There is a delicate balance between making future plans and allowing space to pivot or make adjustments to plans mid-stream. Our team recommends planning a year out to establish goals, marketing strategies, media tactics, and budgets, for the upcoming year.
Keep in mind that different media platforms offer varying levels of flexibility and pricing structures. Digital marketing tactics, for example, provide greater flexibility and typically involve flat-rate investments. On the other hand, broadcast marketing, such as radio and television, may require early planning to secure the best rates as prices are influenced by supply and demand. Ensure you review commitments and contracts carefully to maintain the necessary level of flexibility while optimizing costs.
Digital Marketing Flexibility
Flexible Commitment, Flat-Rate Investment
Most digital marketing tactics have the highest level of flexibility. Typically, digital marketing tactics can be initiated in a matter of days. Likewise, they can be halted in as little as 24 hours. As for rates, most digital market tactics are a flat cost per thousand or cost per lead. More of a commodity, these digital eyeballs and leads usually have the same cost or rate no matter when purchased. Typically, digital marketing tactics cost the same rate if you purchase in advance or the day before execution.
Broadcast Marketing Flexibility
Plan and Book Early for Best Rates
Most broadcast marketing tactics (radio and television) have rates that are adjusted based on supply and demand. Because broadcast marketing platforms have limited inventory (number of commercials in a program), rates are not flat, but rather adjustable.
Buying commercial campaigns on broadcast platforms is much like reserving airline tickets. Not all seats on the plane cost the same amount. The earlier you book your ticket (when there are more seats available) the lower your rate. While there is much more strategy that goes into the purchase of broadcast media, a general rule of thumb is booking earlier can save you marketing dollars.
Mind Your Commitments and Contracts
To retain flexibility be mindful of contract details and cancellation policies. Often print platforms may require a long-term commitment in order to receive a lower rate. There is a give and take between improved rate and level of commitment for some marketing tactics. Make sure you are well aware of the contract commitments and cancellation policy before signing on the dotted line.
Do you have a calendar of events?
Creating a master calendar of events is a valuable practice to facilitate your marketing planning process. This calendar should include key holidays, significant events, speaking engagements, and more. By having a comprehensive overview of upcoming events, you can align your marketing initiatives accordingly. This enables you to plan special offers, promotional campaigns, and social media content in advance.
Not sure where to start?
Start with a basic one – like this! You can always adjust down the road.
Are you monitoring and responding to reviews?
Managing your online reputation is a critical aspect of modern business. It’s important to listen to what people are saying about your company and use that feedback to identify areas for improvement or highlight positive experiences.
Whether the reviews are positive or negative, responding to them shows your commitment to customer satisfaction. Engaging with positive reviews builds loyalty and appreciation while addressing negative reviews demonstrates your willingness to resolve issues and communicate effectively. Make reviewing and responding to customer feedback an integral part of your 2024 marketing plan.
Need help with responding to negative reviews? We have several blogs to help you with that!
How are you incorporating email marketing into your 2024 Marketing Plan?
While many businesses have customer email databases, these addresses are often underutilized beyond transactional communication. Consider encouraging your existing customers to re-engage with your brand through targeted email marketing.
You can leverage various email topics, such as sales, new products, review requests, maintenance tips, referrals, and upcoming events, to foster engagement. Additionally, consider expanding your reach by employing targeted email marketing to reach new potential customers. With high click-through rates and lead-generation capabilities, targeted email campaigns can be a valuable addition to your overall marketing strategy.
Does your 2024 marketing plan cover all aspects of the buying cycle?
To maximize your marketing impact, it’s crucial to address all stages of the buying cycle. Whether you refer to it as “filling the funnel” or conceptualize it as loops, your plan should encompass strategies that raise awareness, provide information and options, emphasize your brand’s value proposition, optimize the purchase experience, and nurture customer relationships after the sale.
While certain marketing platforms may be more applicable to specific stages, it’s essential to recognize the interconnectedness of different mediums and their potential impact throughout the entire buying cycle.
Is accountability integrated into your 2024 marketing plan?
Accountability is an often-overlooked aspect of effective marketing planning. By ensuring accountability measures are in place, you increase the likelihood of achieving your goals. However, accountability should be balanced to empower team members and provide them with a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Regularly review and evaluate the progress of your marketing campaigns, analyze lead and sales data, and establish open and honest communication channels with your team and vendors. This approach ensures everyone is aligned with the company’s goals and actively contributes to its success.
Can you handle it all on your own, or do you need assistance?
Recognize that seeking help is perfectly acceptable, especially if you’re a small business owner juggling multiple responsibilities. Engaging a marketing firm can alleviate the burden, allowing you to focus on your core competencies.
By partnering with a reliable agency, you can benefit from their expertise, access to industry insights, and tailored marketing strategies. If you’re uncertain about where to begin with your 2024 marketing plan, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional team that can support you in achieving your business goals.
I had been doing my own advertising for close to 30 years when I was approached by David and Christina. I was thoroughly impressed with their presentation and shared my lofty expectation and asked if they thought that they could meet it. David told me that he felt that he could do what I was asking. As of the end of July they had almost met my expectations for the whole year. They are a great team, easy to work with, professional, and best of all they deliver results! I highly recommend them!
Start Your Marketing Planning Process
Developing a robust and effective 2024 marketing plan requires careful consideration and thoughtful introspection. By asking pertinent marketing plan questions, you’ll gain valuable insights that will inform your strategic decisions.
Remember to reassess your target audience, leverage the right marketing channels, align your plan with overarching business goals, and embrace emerging trends and technologies. With a well-crafted marketing plan and a focus on continuous improvement, you’ll be well-positioned for success in the dynamic and ever-evolving marketing landscape of 2024.