Keeping it REAListic: Creating an Effective & Achievable Marketing Plan

For many companies whose fiscal year mirrors the calendar year, the fourth quarter is a mix of hurry up and finish this or, sell all of these and most of those before the end of the year. It is also the time of year for developing a marketing plan, setting the advertising budget and establishing priorities for the upcoming year. Well, maybe not.

All too often marketing communications plans get left until the last minute or are executed on the fly. And for many, it’s not because they don’t need marketing communications materials or don’t want them, it’s because for many, developing a marketing budget is still one of those great unknowns. But it doesn’t have to be.

Keeping your Marketing Plans REAListic

1. Don’t Try to Do Everything at Once

Probably the best advice for creating a workable marketing budget is to be realistic. It’s not realistic to try and do everything at one time or in one year. This is especially true when trying to tackle large and important projects like a responsive theme web update, product videos or development of a new tradeshow display.

2. Plan Marketing Efforts over Long-Term Periods

The best approach is to take a longer look at marketing communications plans and projects. So looking at marketing efforts over a three-year period, for example, will help ensure that the plan is realistic, executable and includes room for the large picture important marketing projects. The statement holds true if your company is developing a new marketing plan or continuing years of established marketing practices.

Maybe year one includes a solid mix of marketing materials and features one larger effort like updating that website. Year two continues to build on that marketing mix. With that updated website complete, efforts can focus on the new library of product videos you need because no one uses VHS anymore! Then when year three comes along you can continue to build on what’s been done and get that new tradeshow display the company needs with all the latest brand elements and current images.

3. Execute 100% of the Marketing Plan

Lime Valley Advertising Account Manager Jim Schill has sage advice for those developing a corporate marketing plan. He said:

“A marketing plan, even if it doesn’t include everything you want, but is one hundred percent executed, is significantly better than a plan that is overreaching and only fifty percent executed. You have to be committed to executing that plan every month. And it needs to be well documented. Marketing efforts lose their consistency, message, brand and strategy when they are lofty and poorly documented. Well documented, realistic plans that are executed in full are the most successful.”

Consider Hiring a Marketing Agency

Interested in more of Jim’s insights? Contact Lime Valley Advertising, Inc. today to get started on your company’s next marketing plan!

Lime Valley is a full-service marketing communications firm located in Mankato, MN. Its success is built upon the collective experience of its staff. Since 1988, the company has worked with service and retail businesses, manufacturers, educational institutions, non-profits, and civic organizations to provide creative communication solutions. Lime Valley’s in-house services include copywriting, graphic design, media planning, photography, website development, and digital and social media integration.