Are You the Man with the (Marketing) Plan?

School’s right around the corner. All that slacking you’ve done all summer? All those days you spent flying around by the seat of your pants? That’s done. Fin. Finis. Time to get back to living life by your to-do list and become the man with the plan.

If you’ve been coasting along on your old marketing plan until now, it’s time to toss that out the window and start thinking about what you want out of your marketing campaign for…2012.

Do you have a plan for 2012? Well, what are you waiting for?

Yep, that’s right. If the wheels aren’t already turning, it’s time to sit down with a pen and paper (or your Blackberry, or iPhone, or favorite iPad app, or whatever you’re doing your scheming on these days) and start making the preliminary sketches for where you want your business to go in 2012.

Making a Marketing Plan

Creating a marketing plan is a whole different ballgame from crafting your business plan. It’s easy to decide where you want your business to go, not nearly as easy to figure out how you’re going to get it from here to there.

Your marketing people should have a good handle on what’s next in this season’s lineup, but if you’re running a one man show (or just getting that show off the ground) here’s some food for thought:

1)      Who are you really marketing to this year? Do you have one key group of consumers? Two? Three? Don’t make the mistake of thinking all target groups are created equal.

2)      What new products and events do you have lined up for the coming year? Planning product launches now will save you acres of migraines later.

3)      Where do you plan to promote? It’s a no-brainer, I realize but it’s still well worth pointing out that B2B marketing and B2C marketing are completely different ballgames in the marketing arena-not just where you promote, but how.

A quick side note. Don’t prep your promo materials until you know EXACTLY who’s going to be looking at them. The amount of material I read geared toward professionals that sounds like it was written for my five year old, and vice versa, is enough to make me want to spend an hour or two banging my head into the wall.

4)      What specials/promos do you plan to run in the coming year? This is HUGE in terms of your marketing plan, so sit down and figure that out now while you have the chance.

The new year’s a whole lot closer than you think it is. What are you doing to make sure you’re ready for it all?