It’s that time of year again. Businesses around the U.S. are planning their marketing initiatives for 2020. Whether you have finished or are just starting, here is a quick checklist to make sure you are prepared to take the new year by storm and achieve digital marketing success.

√ Analyze: Look Back to Move Forward

Before any future planning begins, it is essential to take a step back and review what you have done throughout the year. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did these initiatives help us reach the goals we set at the beginning of the year?
  2. What did we do well?
  3. What could we have done better?
  4. Is there something we didn’t do that we should have?

Remember, it is crucial to not only look at your successes, but also the projects that weren’t as successful. These failed initiatives are learning opportunities. Take each one and look at why each one failed and whether there is a different approach that would lead to success in the new year.

√ Focus: Center Your Plan Around Areas of Growth

While you may want to promote all aspects of your business, select two or three areas of your business to concentrate your efforts. Spreading your marketing too thin can dilute the effects of your campaigns and reduce your potential ROI. To determine which areas you want to hone in on, you should consider the following:

  1. What areas of our business have the highest monthly reoccurring value (MRR) or margins?
  2. Does the marketplace have an increased need for this product or service?
  3. What are our customers asking for?

With this information, you can put more steam behind those areas of growth. Keep in mind that this may change during the year, depending on your businesses’ seasonality or the market overall.

√ Goals: Be S.M.A.R.T.

Once you have defined your areas of focus, you need to think about how you are going to gauge success. Use the S.M.A.R.T. method to set long-term goals for the year and match them with short-term goals to help you check in along the way.

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for a guide you can use to make sure you are setting clear and reachable goals. Each goal should be:

  • Specific. If your goals are too broad, it will be challenging to focus your efforts. Utilize the five “W” questions to help you narrow.
    • What do I want to accomplish?
    • Why is this goal important?
    • Who is involved?
    • Where is it located?
    • Which resources are needed?
  • Measurable. It is crucial to have something to measure so that you can track your progress and show whether you have achieved your goal.
  • Attainable. Is your goal realistic? While you should set the bar high to help drive growth, if your goal isn’t possible in the first place, then you are setting yourself up for failure from the start. Things to consider are whether you have enough or the right resources. Do you have the budget necessary to achieve the results you are looking for?
  • Relevant. Does this goal support and assist in achieving other business goals?
  • Timely. Timing is everything, and deadlines are critical. Make sure you are holding yourself to a schedule but are realistic and flexible so you can adjust along the way as needed.

√ Strategy: A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish 

Now that you have reviewed this past year, nailed down this next year’s focus and established goals, you need to develop a plan on how to attain them. There are several marketing tactics you can use to do this. Here are the top five you should incorporate in 2020:

Analytics: If You Don’t Track It, Did It Even Happen?

Last but probably the most important of the checklist items is setting up a way to track your results. Without it, you will not have the quantifiable data to back up your efforts and help you make informed decisions going forward. There are multiple ways to track the success of your initiatives, such as Google Analytics, native social platform insights, and Vivial’s free SEO Report or Digital Analysis.

By checking off each section on this list, you will be well on your way to implementing a robust digital marketing strategy. Still unsure of how to start your 2020 digital marketing planning? We can help! Reach out for a free digital marketing consultation today.