As the most hectic time of year approaches, one thing all businesses are going to be looking at is marketing. Whether it's looking at marketing strategies before or after the New Year, there will be a lot of preparation to do and very little time. Every year, some businesses find themselves short on time when it comes to marketing, and as a result, end up missing out on the many opportunities that come around at Christmas and in the New Year.
Why Is Planning So Crucial?
There are so many aspects to consider when it comes to marketing, it can take months to plan for a single campaign. When planning a campaign, it's not just about getting organised. You have to think about what approach suits different situations. Whether it's planning the best strategy to use on different platforms, what tone you are going to use when writing the content or what your prospects might be expecting to see, you are unlikely to have much success without the time to fully consider all of your options.
So, in short, without good planning, campaigns are unlikely to gain much traction and could end up wasting time and money.
With the New Year approaching rapidly, businesses need to begin planning their marketing strategies for 2019. Most businesses will have already begun their planning, but there will be some who are leaving their planning to the last minute. This of course is a risky way of running marketing ventures for the business, as there will not be enough time for analysis, comparison and evaluation of different strategies and how they will fit in with the business' plans for the New Year. Not to mention, all of the work that must go into these strategies to make them effective.
How Far In Advance Should I Plan?
The answer to this question relies on a multitude of factors such as, what type of campaign you are running, how much work there is to be done, how long the campaign will run for, how much needs to be organised and more. Smaller campaigns could take a month of planning, but for larger ones, you could be looking at two to three months to ensure you have considered all the options to increase the success.
To put this into context, you might already have a preferred strategy and all you need to do is create content or a script and source good quality data. If you're a veteran marketer, you may have done this hundreds of times and might not need months to plan. However, if you're relatively new to the world of marketing and haven't had much experience creating campaigns, you will need to give yourself more time.
You might need to take on more staff to manage the campaign, and recruitment can take months. You might need to conduct research on which marketing strategies will best suit your business, products or services and goals. You may need to find a supplier of regulation compliant data, or even find an appropriate alternative such as outsourcing.
So, to answer the question "How far in advance should I plan?", you need to consider experience, workload and resources.
What Should I Do If I'm Short On Time?
If you find that there is far too much work and planning to do in a short amount of time, don't panic, there are ways to sort it. Instead of running yourself into the ground trying to put something in place in terms of marketing, look for an alternative marketing method that isn't just a fall back. If you know you won’t have the time to put a good marketing strategy in place, outsourcing becomes your best option, this is especially true for newer businesses that may not have an abundance of marketing experience. By outsourcing your marketing strategies to a more experienced company, your campaigns will have a greater chance of success as they will have been planned and executed by marketing experts that can tailor campaigns to fit your requirements. You will also have more time to focus on and perfect other marketing ventures, improving your overall marketing efficiency. Not to mention making the busiest and most stressful time of the year, a little less busy and stressful.