Marketing Planning for 2019: How to Set Your Strategic Marketing and Communications Priorities

January 20, 2019

8 Essential Tips for Planning Your 2019 Marketing Strategy Successfully

Marketing planning is a core component that significantly impacts a company’s success and growth. So why do so many marketeers find themselves leaving it to the last minute?

Suzan Safah, Senior Marketing Strategist at Acorn Strategy, explains why being proactive and planning ahead is key to a successful marketing year, and shares her 8 essential tips for how to get your marketing planning off to a great start in 2019.

Considering Your 2019 Priorities

With today’s tight budgets, limited resources and the reactive ‘fire-fighting’ we all experience to complete last-minute requests, marketers usually find themselves leaving it to the last minute to plan their next year’s activities – and usually right before budgets are due for submission.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you considered your marketing & communications’ priorities for 2019?
  • Have you wrapped up the year assessing your core challenges?
  • Revisited your set objectives?
  • Looked at what worked and what didn’t and what tools, content and platforms generated your most business leads?
  • Considered your team’s performance?
  • Is your new plan and budget set?

If you answered no to any of these, then let’s look at where to go next.

Kickstart Your 2019 Marketing Planning

A starting point which is within one’s control is adapting an approach that is proactive in planning. It is very important to internally drive marketing planning rather than waiting to be informed, briefed or updated. And this applies to small and big businesses, although for large-scale organisations, marketing planning can be more complex and lengthier given the various stakeholders a marketing function works and collaborates with.

Planning is more like an integrated mapping process that outlines what is core, what needs to be done, by when and how it will be delivered.

Yet before you plan, it’s essential to first have a strategy in place to effectively guide your overall planning process. Without a strategy that ties to real business needs, you risk running in aimless directions and achieving little ROI. And if your strategy is set, it’s always recommended to revisit the direction taken every few years ensuring its delivering to the set objectives and achieving the business targets.

Review Your Marketing Strategy

So now that you have your strategic direction set, the next step would be to reconfirm with senior management and the various stakeholders internally you work with and support if there’s a shift in the projects or product service lines’ direction for the year ahead or if there are any changes on their respective business targets.

Achieving this alignment around what your marketing ought to achieve can often mean that carrying it out is more effective – and more appreciated!

Make sure you are aware of expectations, new campaign requirements or product launches you need to account for in your planning. This will ensure you account for it in your budget and team resource plan.

Following that, it’s key to reconsider the marketing and communications targets set for you and the team and ensure they are attainable. Look at what annually is usually done, what worked and did impact the business growth. Don’t shy away from change and modify if needed to what is more reasonable and would yield in quality output, activities and drive ROI.

“Achieving this alignment around what your marketing ought to achieve can often mean that carrying it out is more effective – and more appreciated!”

8 Essential Tips for Marketing Planning

Your marketing plan is a living document and should be continuously revisited and modified catering to your business changes.

  • Ensure you have a marketing strategy in place to steer your marketing planning, which aligns to your company’s objectives and defines your marketing objectives
  • Consider all your internal stakeholders’ project priorities and annual requirements
  • Consider any changes in the market that may impact your business position or growth potential
  • Assess your existing marketing approaches and tools
  • Map your annual and new activities
  • Define your targets and measures
  • Allocate your budget and resources
  • Periodically revisit the plan and update as the business changes

Planning ahead gives you the chance to be in control. It defines your key objectives and targets and steers you in the direction that will enable you to better reach and engage with your target audience. It helps you to better allocate resources and will eventually help optimize your team and contribute significantly to your company’s bottom line.

Want to learn more?

To learn more on how Acorn Strategy can help you review and audit your marketing delivery or develop your marketing strategy and plan, drop us an email at