How to Develop a Winning Marketing Plan for 2017

Thumbtacks on calendar

By Philip Chila


It’s that time of year. No, I’m not talking pumpkin-spiced everything. I’m referring to marketing season. The time each fall when marketing directors put together comprehensive plans for the upcoming year. You might even be working on yours right now.

If your organization wants to improve performance year after year — and who doesn’t? — make sure you’re asking the right questions and really challenging yourself to buck the status quo.

Create a Roadmap for Your Marketing Journey

To develop a plan that will produce results you need to define exactly what you aim to accomplish in 2017. Be painstakingly clear and concise in your strategy. And once you’ve established a roadmap, focus on gaining and maintaining 100% alignment within your organization.

To create a cogent plan, here’s where to begin:

1 Review

Understand where you’ve been. Is your current marketing mix delivering results? To find out, analyze the data — like the number of qualified leads generated or the level of product visibility attained in 2016. But, don’t stop there. Explore the intangibles, too. What do your customers think about your brand? How did last year’s marketing efforts make your audience feel?  

2 Ideation

Think big and bold. How will you engage and captivate your audience in the coming year? Look for compelling ways to create memorable customer experiences. Consider all the options, from the traditional (say, advertising) to the cutting edge (e.g. touchscreen experiences). Then choose the tactics that make sense for your business.

3 Budgeting

Do your homework. Set realistic goals and ROI measurements for the investments you’ll soon make. Allow wiggle room for unplanned expenses like additional concept testing or enhancements to an existing campaign.

4 Execution

Finally, time to actually create something! Your team is excited about the direction you’re heading so let them get to work. But, regularly return to your roadmap to ensure the tactics you’ve chosen remain consistent with your brand’s identity — its look, feel and voice — and deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Planning Your Marketing Mix for 2017

With a solid plan, you’re ready to identify the specific tactics — advertising, web, social, direct marketing, blogging, trade shows to name just a few — appropriate for your business. But, choosing the right mix of tactics can be tricky. Should you do what you’ve always done? Shake things up?

Here’s some food for thought:

According to Hubspot’s 2016 State of Inbound survey, traditional advertising has lost its shine.

Ninety one percent of people say ads, especially online, are more intrusive today than two years ago, and 87% say there are more ads than in the past.

And, all these ads are turning off consumers.  

Here’s proof: 73% of people said they dislike pop-up ads, while 70% reported disliking mobile ads. Four out of five people say they’ve left a webpage because of a pop-up or autoplaying video ad.

Oh yeah, here’s one more stat to chew on: Only 29% of people want to actually speak with a salesperson to learn more about a product, preferring self-directed learning online.

In other words, consumers still want great content, but delivered in a way that engages rather than interrupts.

So, if you can’t have the same level of influence with potential customers using what’s been your go-to approach, adjust your marketing mix to include bolder tactics. Consider self-guided, immersive brand storytelling, for instance. 

Whatever tactics you choose, the point is to find the most compelling ways to engage and captivate your audience. So, when you analyze your priorities and determine how to spend your 2017 marketing dollars, judge each option against these two fundamental criteria:

1. Will this [website, email campaign, product demo, brochure, etc…] inform and delight my audience?

2. Is it immersive and engaging enough to exhilarate my potential buyers and get people talking about my company?

As you shape your marketing strategy, respect customer preferences and reach your audience in ways that energize rather than annoy.  ViewPoint can help you shake things up. Let me show you how.

Philip Chila

Director of ViewPoint Interactive Solutions

A passionate brand champion with a penchant for expensive bourbon and an aversion to marketing hype, he’s committed to helping businesses connect with their customers in compelling and meaningful ways.