How to Create a Smart Business Game Plan — 2017

This is my first article of many to come in 2017, stay with me and learn many smart business tips.

There are so many things to do in your business as the year goes by… So I’ve put together a to do list for your smart business marketing game plan.

Follow these smart business steps and be smarter with me.

(The source of this article is written by Jennifer Johnson — Marketing Manager at Alexa.)



A good game plan always starts with goals.

It’s always easier to get to the place you want to be when you have a clear idea about where you want to go.

So start this year’s game plan by listing things you want to accomplish by the end of this year.

This might include a few of the following.

  • Build a brand awareness
  • Increase your sales
  • Expand into a new market
  • Increase profit
  • Target new customers
  • Develop brand affinity and loyalty
  • Grow digital presence
  • Launch new products or services
  • Grow market share

Once you have created a list of your goals you should focus and set clear objectives for each goal.

Try using SMART goal planning, they are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Next item on the list is the Budget.

In her article Jennifer Johnson says to focus on the investment you would like to make in your marketing in 2017.

As you set your marketing budget, consider a few factors.

  • What industry are you in? How much are your typical competitors spending, and what do you need to spend to compete?
  • Should you outsource SEO, or any other part of your strategy to free up resources? Do you have the budget to do so?
  • What do you want to achieve? Do you need to spend more than usual if you want to grow or expand?
  • What is your total yearly revenue? What percentage of revenue do you want to allocate to marketing?

The next part is the Brand Messaging

A new year is the best time to refresh your brand messaging.

To create a awesome brand guide include these details:

  • Mission statement
  • Brand promise
  • Tone and voice
  • Unique selling propositions
  • Key terms

Jennifer also points out that you should consider the three perspectives that matter to your brand.

  • Customer perspective: What do you present to your potential buyers, clients?
  • Internal perspective: What do you present to your internal team, and what drives their work?
  • Market perspective: What differentiates your offerings and make you stand out in this industry?

Creating buyer personas

Yes this is important, it doesn’t matter what your business is, a good marketer always targets his specific audience.

So as you are creating this smart business game plan, write down target audience descriptions.

No rush though, create three buyer personas first, start from there.

Start defining the audience by these characteristics first:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Marital or family status
  • Gender
  • Ethnic background
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • Personality
  • Lifestyle
  • Behavior
  • Worldview
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Interests and hobbies

Then, create a few buyer personas based on above demographics.

Think about the Buyer’s Journey too..

This is also important, after creating the buyer personas focus on developing the process of their thinking.

Make sure you know what your customer is thinking during each of these stages:

  • Awareness: What is your customer experiencing as they become aware of a problem they are having? What are their pain points?
  • Consideration: What is your customer doing while they are considering solutions for their problem?
  • Decision: How does your customer make the final decision before a purchase? What concerns, thoughts, and processes guide them?

Now you’re done creating the framework, guidelines and the perspective for your 2017 game plan for your business.

Finally it’s time to decide what type of marketing strategy you are going to use, it could be traditional, digital or content marketing.

Choose the best marketing method for your business and your goals, and think about the budget you are going to spend on those marketing methods.

If you are not sure what method to choose, try asking the following questions yourself..

  • If you’ve used the method in the past, how successful was it? Can it be improved upon?
  • Have you performed a full competitor analysis to explore what strategies have worked for your competitors?
  • If you haven’t tried certain tactics, do you have some flexible budget you can use to experiment and see what works?

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