Are you planning for 2011 yet?

The past two years have indeed been an interesting adventure for us all. No matter what, we’ve all managed to learn how to make do with available resources.

As we plan for yet another year, we have to reflect upon the past to learn how we can leverage new knowledge and technologies to achieve higher goals in 2011.

September is about ready to begin and it’s a good thing, too. August is one of the most notoriously unproductive months of the year. Reasons for this slow month could vary depending on your industry.

The New Year may be four months away, but it’ll come sooner than we all think. Let us help you plan with a couple of suggestions.

Have you done your research?
Everybody is talking about the economy, and you may be sick of hearing about it, but they are talking for good reason! We are coming out of the worst recession in recent memory, and things are changing rapidly in all sectors.

With that said, we need to be alert to what’s going on and aware of the constant shifts. Do not take your eyes off the market, especially in your industry. Remember that it is important that we all remain agile to quickly adjust to shifting economic conditions.

Think about your market—what demographics are you targeting? What are their needs? What is their buying power going to look like in a few months? Government agencies provide statistics that can give you all kinds of information on consumer information.

Keep in mind that this was also a census year, which means some of that information will soon be available as well. If you can anticipate the general mood, you will be better suited to adjust your market plan.

Get your budget in order!
As the summer comes to an end, it’s time to take the balance sheets and figure out what kind of budget we have to work with for the upcoming year. Part of developing a strategic marketing plan is making sure the funds are there to support it, which means it may be time to adjust how that marketing budget is being used.

What strategies brought in new customers this year? What didn’t work so well? Stick with what works, but don’t be afraid to take chances—everyone else is!

Online marketing is always in a state of evolution, so we need to be conscious of which we are reaching through online outlets. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are still growing, and growing rapidly!

If you haven’t before, consider what your approach looks like on these particular platforms. As social networking reaches more demographics, new opportunities take root, and if you don’t take advantage of them, you will fall behind.

Have you considered outsourcing your initiatives?
Marketing is not a part-time gig if you want to succeed. If you find yourself struggling to keep up on your marketing strategies while running your business, you may want to consider outsourcing to an agency.

Not only will this free up your hands to concentrate on handling other facets of your business, but hiring a professional agency means knowing you are getting the latest and greatest marketing strategies with the appropriate market research. The most important thing to look for when shopping for a marketing agency is results.

By the way, we are a fantastic marketing communications agency and available to help you with your 2011 strategic planning. Just saying. 🙂