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When is it time to think about next year's marketing plan?

If you think planning for the following year can wait until the last few months of the year, maybe think again. When the dog days of summer hit, it's time to start planning for next year. School routines and other "summer's over" schedules are hectic. Then the frenzy of the fall boat shows will be upon those of us in the Chesapeake region. The next thing you know, it’s Thanksgiving and the holiday season. You may never have more time than you do now.

dog on dock

Those sales and marketing strategies aren't going to create themselves! But seriously, we recommend blocking out time in the late summer and early fall to plan your company’s sales and marketing strategies for the following year.

Putting planning sessions on your calendar will:

  • Increase the likelihood that you will actually create plans in the first place

  • Lead to a cohesive sales and marketing plans that support your business strategy

  • Help ensure that you don’t let opportunities slip through the cracks

  • Get your products or services into the hands of those who will most benefit from them

  • Sustain and grow your business

To get started, think about these four things:

  • What you want to promote, such as your current products or services, new products or services you plan to offer in the next year; and your planned efforts to gain market share

  • Where you want to want to your business to be seen, ie, the channels through which you want to communicate: Email, Print, Digital (including social media and blogs), TV, Industry trade shows such as boat shows, demo days, and open houses

  • How to promote your business; think sponsorships, in-person events, and in-kind donations

  • When you want to push the campaigns based on the seasonal rhythms of the marine industry, holidays, and campaigns timed to coincide with big marine industry events such as boat shows.

Quick takeaway Setting aside some time now to plan for next year will help ensure your good intentions don't fall by the wayside.

Want to learn more about creating next year's marketing plan?

Here are two articles we like:

SPF-360: Marketing solutions for the marine industry in the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic regions.

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