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7 Ways to lay solid foundations for a stellar marketing plan

Because you wouldn't want a wonky marketing plan.

Team creating a marketing plan

Welcome to another wonderful year of making marketing magic.

Let's start by doing the groundwork for making a successful marketing plan and a bunch of brilliant marketing strategies.

If completing these seven steps before you even begin to draft your marketing plan seems like a mighty mission, take heart (or yell for help). 

Because hand on heart, I can tell you that calmly and curiously working through them will set you up to make marketing magic.

You'll have oodles of intel about what worked and what didn't in the previous year. You'll know what to spend and where to show up. You'll be set to deepen your relationships with customers by creating a story they can't resist being part of.   

Sounds good? Let's get going.


Typing on a laptop, creating a marketing plan

1.     Dream Big – I dare you!

What are your wildest business dreams for the new year? Are you up for conquering new markets, breaking revenue records, or launching the next big thing?Embrace these big, ambitious goals and set them high and clear. They'll be your guiding stars on this marketing adventure.


Need a quick refresher on setting superb and doable goals for your business and your marketing? Here you go 


2.     Reflect on last year's good, great, and ghastly

Audit your previous years' marketing – which strategies, campaigns, or random acts of inspired brilliance resonated most and brought you the best return on investment (ROI)? What fell flatter than a thin, tasteless pancake? Write a ruthless three-column list that separates:


·      Marketing moves that worked like a charm

·      Campaigns that could work with a few tweaks and touch-ups

·      Flops and fails that just need to be binned

Good work! Now, you're well placed to allocate 2024 marketing time and money to what's already great and good.   Maybe you did this in my free Gain Marketing Momentum workshop in 2023. If you'd like to join the next session, sign up here. 

3.     Check your channels 

Let's be real – few of us have time to show up regularly on all the social media channels. If you are making a splash everywhere, then kudos to you!

Figure out where you're most in touch with your audience by diving deep into your 'insights' or 'analytics' (depending on the platform).

Work out where you shone and where you stumbled. Did you miss any hot trends that could have made you more visible (short-form videos, for instance?)

In short, besides auditing what sorts of content you offered, audit where you offered it. Then, fine-tune your strategy to focus your energy on your most successful channels. 

Remember, it's OK not to be everywhere. In fact, investing your marketing energies and dollars in the one or two platforms most frequented by your ideal customers is almost always better.

Dazed and confused about decoding insights and analytics? I can help   


4.     Know Your Budget Playbook 

Money talks, but it doesn't have to shout. That said, setting and monitoring a separate marketing budget is as important as every other business budgeting move you make. A savvy, structured marketing budget lets you swap scary random spending for smartly allocated and accounted-for funding.


Every business should have a budget to figure out where your money will make the most impact. Not sure where to start, head here. 

 And, if you're prepared to trust marketing giants HubSpot with your email, you can download their 8 free marketing budget templates to help you track your spending.

Marketing Plan, taking photos for marketing


5.     Find the time and talent to make marketing magic

Decide if you and your team (if you have one) have the time and expertise to make, launch, and monitor a marketing plan to achieve your goals.


If you're keen on marketing but time is tight, think about sprinkling a little training fairy dust. Investing in a workshop or some one-on-one or group training will up your skills and connect you with lovely, like-minded business humans. 

If marketing isn't your jam, think about delegating or outsourcing it so you can spend time doing the business stuff you love and excel at.

Here's a shameless plug for my workshops and marketing mentoring services.


Curious to know how outsourcing can get great results?Here's how it worked for a passionate provider of disability services


6.     Talk to your customers

Customer feedback is pure marketing gold, so ask about their experience with your products and services and how they feel about your overall brand. What they tell you will help you plan to meet their needs more closely, stop doing stuff they don't value, and dream up ways to surprise and delight them.

Most humans are hardwired to want to help and will happily respond to surveys, interview requests, or social media polls. Now and again, you might also make it worth their while by offering a freebie or a discount.


Stuck for ways to gauge (and grow) your levels of customer love? Read this


7.     Funnel that customer love

Guide your audience through every stage of their customer journey. Marketing speak calls this 'taking them from awareness to decision and purchase. In 'Laura speak,' I call it gently shepherding curious bystanders toward becoming contented customers.


Wondering what even is 'the customer journey'? Clueless about creating content to match each of its five stages?



And there you have it – seven steps to get you ready to shine like the marketing rockstar you are.

So here's cheers to a year filled with marketing high-fives and more happy customers than you can possibly imagine! If you need help to make this happen. Book a call  


An example of a marketing shot


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