Part of our #HereComeTheHolidays Series
Why Make a 90 Day Marketing Plan for the Holidays?
If you haven’t decided to make a marketing plan yet, we’ve written an article that may change your mind. Simply—you’re giving yourself plenty of breathing space, so you can actually enjoy the festive season when it finally rolls around.
But if you have decided to start your marketing planning for the festive season—you’re in the right place. With so much possible, and so much time, how do you begin to tackle it all? Here are our tips on how to make your 90 day marketing plan.
Our Tips for Making a 90 Day Marketing Plan
1. Be Realistic
90 days—3 months—sounds like a very long time, but in business time moves quickly and amongst other duties, you’ll need to maximise your time. You don’t need to overload yourself; sharing responsibilities can help, and so will setting out what you know right in front of you.
You’re not going to be able to achieve everything 100% of the time, but breaking everything down is how you tackle the big stuff. Breaking down what you need is the first step; the next is not biting off more than you can chew. How many tasks are you actually going to complete in a day? Can you accommodate for any unexpected delays? Your 90-day marketing plan is not there to tire you out, but to pace you.
If your software has automation—use it. For example, you could use popcorn’s marketing tools use automation to keep your emails to keep your emails running alert you for any developments in a prospect’s activity and progress the pipeline of your campaign.
In the same vein, being realistic means knowing that some tasks are going to be more pressing—and foundational—than others. In the interest of not overwhelming yourself, focus on the things that can’t be ignored. Make sure they’re at the top of your plan, and set reminders for them. This doesn’t mean other tasks are to be forgotten; they’ll fall into place if you’ve got less pressure on you.
This is the ultimate goal of the plan: everything you do is designed to make it as simple, clear and stress-free as possible, for as long as possible. What can you do to lighten the load for yourself further down the line?
3. Keep Your Marketing Plan Clear and Simple
As mentioned above, keeping your plan clear and simple will work wonders—without leaving anything out, of course. Keep your notes concise so you don’t return to a cluttered plan that demands your attention here, there and everywhere. Plus, if it needs to be consulted by anyone else, they’ll be able to follow your thinking without getting bogged down in the minutiae.
The very nature of a 90 day marketing plan encourages bigger tasks to be broken down into smaller, manageable chunks. It pays to stick to this approach: you’re much more likely to feel motivated—and successful—which is vital for protracted campaigns. If your tasks are easy to follow, they’ll be quicker to complete, too—which can only be good news.
4. Know Your Deadlines
Having a clear plan will make your deadlines very visible and therefore, more manageable. The best way to approach deadlines is by working backwards. Wha needs to be done before, and what steps go into making that happen? Remember, every cog makes the machine work, so be clear about what goes into the task, from start to finish.
5. Display Your Process
There is a balance to be achieved between micromanaging overload and simplifying too much. Every big task has multiple steps that build a bigger picture, so make sure everyone involved is aware of it. If there’s a missing link later down the line, you’ll be aware of what needs to be done so you can rectify the problem sooner rather than later.
6. Keep Everyone on the Same Page
This shouldn’t matter quite so much if you’ve only got yourself to handle, but if multiple people are involved, make sure everyone knows it. Label, or section, or colour-code, and specify deadlines so you can work together in harmony. Check in regularly—build that that into your 90-day plan too—so no one is left behind.
If you make your plan accessible—for example, having a cloud-based document—the chance of any one person falling behind reduces. Real-time, as well as regular, checks will keep the boat afloat.
This is another perk of a clear and simple plan: any checked-off tasks, diversions or discussions will immediately be noticeable, as you and your team can keep working organically, accommodating for one another instead of working in spite of.
Plus, it’s easier to be reminded of big dates in your calendar—self-imposed or not—when multiple people know they’re working towards it.
7. Bring in the Buildup
Campaigns for certain holidays are all about the anticipation; Christmas is one of the best examples of this, especially when businesses start advertising early. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind when developing your plan. What will the frequency of your marketing be? How can you build on that—what can you build on? Competitions and prize draws are a great way to build up anticipation and pass time, whilst also keeping up engagement. Acknowledging milestones in the countdown t your holidays keeps the momentum going, and it is a good indicator of when you need to step up the frequency of your messaging.
Starting slow means you have to get the big tasks—setting up databases, creating content, etc.—out of the way. When the time comes for you to be more immediate, you’ll mostly be focusing on implementation. You’ll be able to keep up with the quicker pace, and stay on the minds of the prospects you want the most.
8. Expect Change
Nothing goes 100% to plan. This is why although we recommend keeping yourself busy by prioritising from the start, you should allow yourself an element of your flexibility so you can adapt to whatever life throws your way. Keep your schedule busy, but not packed; keep some time free for those just-in-case moments. This is also why we suggest an accessible, simple plan: any unforeseen changes can be clocked and accounted for. A change of plans doesn’t have to mean a change of heart. You’re still have time.
9. Review Your Marketing Plan Often
As with any long-term plan that can be subject to change, checking in is a valuable task. It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of a task, lose track of your time, your work, and the road ahead. Schedule in regular reviews so you know your work is on the right path; adjust for any change in pace, and keep the end goal in sight.
10. Remember Your Goals
You can chop and change as long as you remember your end goal: you’re here to deliver the best campaign you can for your prospects. Keep your targets in mind and trust the process, and things will fall into place.
Having a workable, clear plan will set you up with your best foot forward. This will be apparent in what you deliver, when you deliver it, and how you deliver it, as you’ll be successful in reaching your prospects, monitoring their responses, moving forward with your fine-turned, finely prepared holiday marketing.