Is Your Marketing Plan Ready For 2017?

Frances ReimersGuest Post by Frances Reimers. Frances Director of Corporate Visibility at PCI Communications. You can connect with Frances on LinkedIn or Twitter.


As I peer into my Magic 8-Ball I predict that 2017 is going to be…let’s just say, interesting. So while we are still in the comfort of 2016 let’s talk a little about about what tools, skills, and budget marketers will need to build successful campaigns in the coming year.  

Do you know your audience? No, really; who are they? What information do they need? What do they want? And by which channels do they want to receive information? There’s no time like the present to find out. Low or no cost options like Survey Monkey are available if formal market research is not in the budget. Bottom line: ignorance is no longer an option.

Is there a call to action? This point might be common sense to some, but the downfall of so many campaigns is that there is not a clear and direct call to action. What do you want your audience(s) to believe or do as a result of your campaign? State the action clearly and provide a direct pathway for your audience to engage further.

How’s your digital infrastructure? Digital and/or social marketing is likely on your radar for 2017. And well it should be! Digital and social marketing allows us to reach audiences like never before. Before you launch, be sure your internal infrastructure is equipped to process the data you receive. More and more marketers are realizing that Excel spreadsheets are challenging to maintain in real time and that they need to invest in Customer Management Software (CMS). The more information you are able to obtain and retain about your audience in real time, the more sophisticated your future campaigns will be.

Don’t forget video. Video is no longer an up-and-coming marketing tool. It’s here to stay; and its role in your future campaigns is vital. According to Brainshark, 74% of all Internet traffic in 2017 will be video. With that in mind, campaigns need to be created with a video-first mentality. It should also be noted that video is not one size fits all. Placement, end-user, and call to action need to be factored in when creating video.

Are you thinking outside of the box for paid media? Traditional media like print, TV, and radio are still effective for reaching your stakeholders. But when building your 2017 campaigns, think beyond the norm for your media buy and consider unconventional options like custom radio stations or in-flight video to reach your stakeholders in new ways.

Have you forgotten earned media? Traditional public relations still play an integral role in any integrated campaign. When launching a new product, service, or initiative, do not forget to budget for labor hours and expenses to reach out to applicable print and online publications to help spread your message.

It’s only November, so the good news is that if you’re a little behind the curve on any of these tips there is still time to create a plan, add funding to the budget, or seek out the assistance of an agency.

Even if you are only able to accomplish a fraction of this list, your campaigns and overall marketing approach are likely to be well-positioned to achieve better awareness and engagement.