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Article: Market Reflection and Planning


It's time to reflect back on your 2016 Marketing Strategy

By: Brianna Paon

Now that we are two weeks into January we can officially say that the holiday sales rush has come to a close. After countless events, pop up markets, open houses, and a steady flow of farm store visits our natural instinct is to kick our feet up and put last year officially in the rear view. This time of year, however, is actually the best time to reflect back on the tools and strategies you used to drive business, what worked, what didn’t, what’s worth repeating in 2017 and what needs some tweaking.

We’ve all been to a new event or pop up market that didn’t pan out. Maybe it was the weather (85 and sunny!), or the lack of foot traffic, or even too many similar vendors competing for too few potential buyers. Besides events, we all use various forms of getting the word out about our farms, animals, fiber, and products. Various forms of marketing and advertising work well in different situations, so it’s important to measure each type you implemented last year and rate its overall success. Along with reflecting back on what didn’t quite pan out, it's very important to recognize your achievements and what you did this past year that shined. No accomplishment is too small to celebrate and bring forward into the new year. Ask yourself what went well for you this past year, and what contributing factors made it work.

Now is the time, while 2016 is still fresh in your mind, to reflect back on all the various things that you did to help grow your business. By taking a moment to write down the things you did, and how they worked out (one way or the other), you can help jump start your 2017 marketing plan of attack. With a rough plan in place, you can start mapping out your following year in the hopes of making it your best year yet!

Here are some sample questions to help jump start your reflection and planning processes:

The Year Behind:

  • What went well?
  • What surprised you?
  • What needs to be left behind?
  • What did this year teach you?
  • Wrap up your year with a name that fits:

The Year Ahead?

  • Where do you want to go next?
  • How will you evolve in the year ahead?
  • What are your top goals?
  • How will you navigate ambiguity and uncertainty?
  • What name will sum up your business's 2017?

Included below are some worksheets that can help you sum up your marketing of 2016 and help you start drawing up a plan for 2017.

Uncaged Life: End of Year Marketing Worksheet

SmallBiz Trends: One Page Sample Marketing Plan