The New Year is just around the corner and, for many businesses except for retail, this is a slow time of year. If you have a little extra down time on your hands, use it as an opportunity to plan for 2009. Consider what products or services you might add next year, or maybe those that didn't do well this year that need to be retooled. Has your target market shifted at all? Do you need to change your advertising or reach out to a different group?
This is also a great time to look at your marketing plan and time line for 2009. What activities will you do regularly? weekly? monthly? quarterly? semiannually? annually? as needed? Try to schedule them for specific times of the month, so they are fairly consistent. Here's a quick example of what your January marketing plan might look like:
Week #1: 1/4 page ad in local community newspaper (biweekly)
Week #1: Post timely blog (2 per week)
Week #2: Monthly e-mail marketing (monthly)
Week #2: Post timely blog (2 per week)
Week #3: Press release announcing a key hire or business anniversary (as needed)
Week #3: Post timely blog (2 per week)
Week #3: 1/4 page ad in local community newspaper (biweekly)
Week #3: Review e-mail marketing stats for open rate and click-through rate (monthly)
Week #4: Networking meeting at Chamber of Commerce or other group (monthly)
Week #4: Post timely blog (2 per week)
Week #4: Check website and blog traffic for the month. Note any changes. (monthly)
Creating such a plan helps you to more effectively schedule your time, and it ensures that your marketing efforts are consistent. Only when you do this can you accurately measure your results to see what is working and what isn't. Happy Planning!