It is important to start your annual planning and budgeting early. If your organization runs on an annual calendar fiscal year (starts January 1st) you should start planning for the upcoming year at the end of August. You will need to identify key stakeholders at your company to ensure the marketing plan is aligned with the overall organizational goals.
Look back to look forward
It is crucial to review the performance of your results before you establish your annual goals and budget. Don’t worry that you can’t pull results for the full year given that you are starting your planning in August. Typically, reviewing results from January – August will give you enough insight to make educated decisions. Develop a Year in Review report that highlights:
- Top 3 Accomplishments
- Top 3 Learnings
- Restate the current year’s annual goals & identify the KPIs that support each goal
- Include both key activities (i.e. assets created, tactics deployed) and quantifiable metrics (ROI, leads generated, etc.)
Set goals with a purpose
Before you establish your goals, review the performance from the previous year (what worked, what did not, what do we want to do this upcoming year) and talk to key stakeholders to understand their marketing pain points and opportunities in the upcoming year. Depending on the organization’s goals, it is important to balance quantifiable marketing channels with brand building tactics. When establishing your goals here are some key questions to consider:
- What are the organizational goals? (growth, retention, etc.)
- What are the biggest challenges and opportunities?
- Are there quantifiable metrics we need to consider (new clients, revenue growth, etc.)?
Annual marketing budgets can seem overwhelming but if you start early, break it down piece-by-piece and collaborate with key stakeholders this task becomes second nature.