How Often Should A Marketing Plan Be Revisited?
Once you have gone to the effort and time to create a marketing plan, it’s important that the document doesn’t just sit on a shelf for the rest of the year. Instead, the marketing plan should be revisited on a regular basis to ensure specific goals and objectives are being met. This enables you to adjust it for greater future success.
But how often should a marketing plan be revisited?
Following are five specific instances that should trigger a marketing plan review. You will find it beneficial to revisit your marketing plan:
1. At the end of a marketing campaign
When a marketing campaign ends, it’s important that you revisit the marketing plan. You’re not looking just to check off that the campaign is complete.
At the end of a marketing campaign, you need to critically analyze what worked and what didn’t – based on:
- Analytics related to the campaign,
- Feedback from involved team members, and
- Key performance indicators that were defined before the start of the campaign.
This can help you and your marketing team capitalize on what you learn from completed campaigns and apply those insights to upcoming marketing campaigns to get even better results from future marketing efforts.
2. When there are business changes
When you change your business plan, experience major changes in personnel, or a change in the products or services you offer, you should revisit the marketing plan to determine whether adjustments need to be made to the marketing strategies and/or marketing activities scheduled for the coming months.
Additionally, if you realize that a marketing channel you previously overlooked could help drive revenue, revisiting the marketing plan is a smart way to make sure it is added to the existing plan rather than unintentionally stealing resources from some other planned activity.
3. When refreshing or redesigning your website
There is synergy between all of your marketing channels and changes you make to your website will require changes to your other marketing channels and marketing assets.
In addition, changes to your website colors, logo, fonts, and images essentially change your brand’s identity and affect brand recognition which, in turn, can affect sales. So you will likely need to allocate some of your marketing budget to informing consumers about the upcoming changes and what those changes mean to them.
Here’s the deal: in general, people don’t like change. So it’s a good idea to help consumers understand that a change is coming and why you decided to make that change.
Great ways to accomplish this include:
- Social Media Posts
About 2-3 weeks before launching website changes, start doing teaser posts to build excitement about the launch. Teaser posts should be short, simple, original, and even a bit vague like, “Get ready! We have an exciting announcement coming soon!” Use your creativity and post different teasers to ensure your social media followers know that something new and exciting is coming soon. Then about 72 hours after your website updates are published, announce the launch of your new site. This way the changes have an opportunity to populate throughout the Internet and you have the opportunity to fix any issues before the public finds them for you.
- Your Sphere of Influence
Ask friends, colleagues, employees, affiliates, business partners, and highly engaged followers to share your social media announcements with their followers. And be sure to tag anyone who worked on the redesign, thanking them for their contributions.
- Your Email List
You’ll want to send a teaser email to your email list about 2-3 weeks before launching your website changes, similar to what you did on social media. Then about 72 hours after your website launches, send a launch announcement that showcases the new features of your website, highlights the release of a new product, a special offer, coupon, or discount code, or a video that walks subscribers through using your new website.
- A Press Release
A thorough and concise press release is a resource you can use over and over again to let local news outlets, trade publications, community organizations, networking groups, and business associations know about your announcement.
Marketing plans should also be revisited quarterly. Some businesses might choose to revisit their marketing plans monthly, but this will depend on the types of marketing activities your team executes. Revisiting marketing plans quarterly should allow you to analyze marketing efforts based on data collected from quarterly reviews held in previous years. Quarterly reviews of the marketing plan should also provide opportunities to adjust course if a particular element of the marketing plan isn’t working.
5. At Year-End
Most marketing plans outline the particular activities to achieve the marketing strategy for the coming year, so marketing plans will also need to be revisited annually. However, it would likely be to create a new marketing plan for the upcoming year rather than adjust the current marketing plan. How often the typical marketing plan is evaluated will depend on your business needs and how many campaigns you have planned throughout the year.
3 Ways to Revisit Your Marketing Plan More Efficiently
The market in which you operate is fluid and competitive. And changes in your business or the market in which you operate can have a big impact on the success of your marketing efforts. The purpose of revisiting your marketing plan is to ensure you stay abreast of those changes and make the necessary adjustments to help you achieve your marketing and sales goals.
In particular, when you revisit your marketing plan, you want to:
- Understand which marketing activities ARE working, so you can do more of the activities that are working
- Understand which marketing activities are NOT working so you can revise or discontinue the ones that aren’t working
- Measure progress toward your goals
- Ensure that your objectives, target demographics, market research, and marketing activities still fit your company
- Identify new opportunities that you may be missing
Here are a few ways that you can revisit your marketing plan more efficiently.
1. Ask customers how they found out about your business.
You can use surveys, quizzes, or questionnaires to ask customers how they learned about your business and easily know if it was due to your current marketing efforts and promotions or some other way. If a majority of respondents indicate they found you some other way, you will know that your current strategies are not effective and need to be revised.
Successful marketers are 242% more likely to conduct periodic audience research. But a whopping 65% of marketers rarely or never do it! (CoSchedule State of Marketing Strategy)
So by conducting periodic audience research, you will complete your marketing plan more efficiently and gain an advantage over most of your competitors who do gather these insights.
2. Learn about market trends.
Marketing trends are constantly changing. Marketing strategies that worked well yesterday may not work at all today. In-depth online research will help you identify what strategies are currently working and how the most effective companies are promoting their businesses.
3. Hire experts to help you.
A more resourceful approach would be to consult with a marketing agency or digital marketing agency because they are experts in the business of marketing. They know current market trends and which strategies are most effective. They can help you develop an effective marketing plan and provide ongoing monitoring to ensure you achieve the desired results.
If you’d like help with your marketing strategy or efforts and would like to learn how we can help, schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.
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