August 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again -- time to begin the process of planning for an entire year’s marketing activities.

Surprisingly, you’d be amazed how many times over the years I have been asked “where to start” when beginning the planning process. I’ve always thought the answer to that question was intuitive – 78Madison’s process of course begins with a summary evaluation of which initiatives have been working over the past year, and which have fallen short of expectations for our clients – and ourselves.

The goal of this exercise is two-fold. First, you need to identify the specific programs that are fueling your success and make sure they remain relevant in the year to come. Second, and equally important, you need to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. Throughout the year you should be constantly evaluating marketing performance, but this exercise allows you to reflect on “why.” What have you learned about your customers, your messaging and the inherent value of your product/service?

At 78Madison marketing is a living practice, and a discipline that frankly is never perfected. Information garnered from trial and error, primary and secondary research and simple awareness will allow your marketing to consistently improve. This belief should instruct the first section of your next marketing plan. From a strategic standpoint, what have you learned? Outline specific successes or challenges that instructed your conclusions. Talk about the implications of what you learned. And very importantly, share those thoughts and conclusions with your partners and all marketing stakeholders.

The following questions help guide this exercise for 78Madison:

• What were the 2018 goals you set out to achieve? Were the goals measureable?

• What was the strategy to accomplish these goals?

• What unexpected changes occurred in the market or with your product/service which affected the outcome?

• What programs were launched?

• What worked and what didn’t?

• Rank them by ROI (if you can) across channels and media… Any surprises?

• Year over Year: Did conversion grow? Did revenue grow?

• What messaging best resonated with your target customers?

• Have you seen a shift in feeder markets, customer demographics or business mix?

• What is your elevator pitch regarding most recent successes?

The result of this effort will be a thoughtful introduction to your strategic direction for the coming year as well as an assurance that the initiatives that generated the most revenue for you this year will be included in your planning.

I’d be interested in knowing if you have specific market planning practices that fuel your process for the coming year. If you do, we hope you’ll share.

Joe Bouch CEO,

78Madison is in Orlando Florida – Altamonte Springs Florida – and is a full-service marketing communications firm - advertising agency. Here to listen. Here to help.