5 Things To Consider for Your 2017 Marketing Plan

gaineyHow is your 2017 strategic marketing plan shaping up? Whether it’s your first time planning or you’re a seasoned marketing pro, crafting strategies for marketing is becoming more and more challenging given the ever-increasing choice of devices, platforms and channels to reach audiences on.  As you gear up for 2017, here are five key things to make sure you’re considering as part of your marketing plan arsenal.

Maximizing Data Collection & Analysis

As the amount of data available in the world continues to accumulate and grow, the opportunity to collect relevant information and use it for smarter, more effective and better marketing is also rising. Think about all the places you have been collecting data or can access and leverage data to make smarter marketing decisions.  From your existing customer data and insights to things like website analytics and social listening, there are probably a variety of untapped outlets you could be better leveraging to get smarter about your audience and relevantly engage with them.

Content Marketing – 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” Well, valuable and relevant content definitely is.  Today, traditional marketing has been replaced by content marketing, defined as “creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”  And creating quality content that people want to engage with fuels social media strategy, PR strategy, search marketing strategy and more.

Persona Development – As personalization and relevance in marketing become table stakes, the development of key audience personas take traditional target audience definitions (demographics and mindsets) to a much more meaningful place and help fuel smart content marketing strategies. Persona templates can vary based on how you want to use them and what your unique business needs are, but typically include a snapshot of the persona (a photo, demographics, role), what they value, their goals and challenges, and their preferences.

Journey Mapping –

An audience journey map is a visualization of their journey/experience with your brand. A journey map helps inform smart content marketing strategies to ensure you’re engaging with your audience at the right time, in the right place, with the right message and/or offer. It is often the next step in planning after persona development and a great team exercise to help focus and ensure all your marketing efforts are as relevant as they can be (and help weed out things that might not be as relevant).

Cross-Device Marketing – With so much data at our disposal, cross-device programmatic marketing, while still in its infancy, is growing and giving marketers increased chances to think about ways to more holistically target consumers on multiple devices — ultimately delivering more immersive customer experiences.  It can be as simple as serving up mobile ads at the same time you run TV spots, but the opportunities will be almost endless.  Let the data and your creativity be your guide!

Gainey is the SVP Brand Strategy & Management at Cronin and Company, an
 advertising and marketing firm based in Glastonbury, http://www.cronin-co.com