Marketing team working together to forecast and plan.

No one ever said that strategic planning and budgeting was easy. Thankfully, BMA’s November 30th Forecasting a Great Year event gave some insight on how you can choose the coming year’s top marketing priorities.

Tyler Olson, Founder of Modern Foundation, lead an interactive session for 2018 marketing planning. Complete with a worksheet, he addressed 7 important areas in which you first rank your marketing areas and then “connect the dots.” What do you learn from this exercise? You learn where your marketing strengths and weaknesses are and what you need to focus on for the coming year.

7 Marketing Areas

Image Taken from PowerPoint Presentation by Modern Foundation

Just for fun (or for strategic planning purposes), you can try ranking your own company! Here are the 7 marketing areas you can rank on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being the best, most perfect score you could give your company):

1) Target Market

How well do you know your target market? Can you name exactly who they are, what they search, or other important details about them? This information helps your marketing efforts by deciding which channels are worthy of your focus and attention. To be a high-ranker in this category, Tyler suggests you have following information on your target market:

  • Detailed personas
  • Demographics
  • Where they are searching online
  • What keywords they are searching
  • Segmented email lists

2) Awareness

Not everyone knows who your company is, what you do, or why you’re different or the best choice for them. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, you’ll want to know if your brand has an awareness or conversion problem.

3) Marketing Assets

This marketing area is all about ensuring that the right person receives the right message at the right time. Want to rank well in this category? Make sure your messaging conveys:

  • What makes you different from your competitors
  • Why they should choose you (value proposition)

Part of delivering these messages to your audiences includes the channels you decide to use for your marketing efforts. Plus, you’ll want to think about any innovations that you can try to enhance your messaging – such as real time personalization.

4) Data & Analytics

Tracking performance may seem like a tedious task but as every marketer knows, it’s an extremely important part of learning what’s working and what’s not. Plus, it plays an important role in getting you more money for your marketing efforts! You’ll be getting the most out of your data and analytics if you know:

  • Your analytics is set up correctly
  • The Lifetime value of your customer
  • Your channel/activity return-on-investment
  • Your reporting is accurate

5) Processes

Could anyone step-in and do the job if someone leaves? That’s part of the reason it’s so important to have processes. Also, processes have the ability to “increase marketing effectiveness and stability” if they are well-documented, clear, and followed by everyone.

6) Activities

There are so many marketing activities that a company can juggle – social media, SEO, content, paid advertising, PR, reviews, traditional marketing, etc. But are you utilizing the activities and channels that make the most sense for your business? Are you making educated decisions on what activities you put effort and investment into so that you can encourage consistency and optimization?

7) True Cost

As Tyler points out, “the cost of marketing is often much more than just the advertising dollars you put into different platforms.” There are other elements such as employee time, tools, and ROI that you should keep in mind when you’re constructing budgets.

Looking for more ideas on budgeting or strategic planning? Check out our other Leadership and Management blog posts on the Celarity website!

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