Third quarter has arrived and so has planning for 2016. Just like a healthy food plot can lead to bagging that trophy buck during deer season, a sound marketing strategy leads to success. That’s why starting your 2016 marketing strategy now is so important. Would you put a food plot out during or after deer season? Sure, if you don’t want any seeds to have sprouted, scare away any possible deer and feed all the antlered visitors you missed during actual deer season. The same timing applies to a marketing strategy. Below are just a few key reasons why planting your marketing strategy early will have you ready for the season.

Now is the time to evaluate your current marketing strategies and determine how they fit in with your business objectives. Some areas of your current strategies may be working better than others and should be developed for the following year. Others may need to be scaled back while you introduce new ones.

The Media Already Knows

By now, media will be or have released their 2016 media kits and editorial calendars. Growing your brand’s exposure through print or online media is crucial to having a successful marketing strategy. Better insure exposure by beginning your conversations with media before other companies do. Ad representatives and editors will be on the hunt for the best content to fill their editorial calendars. Knowing the editorial calendar can help you plan when to pitch a specific product. This is your chance to have your product stand out and fill their need. Building relationships with editors can help lead to PR opportunities.

Brand Consistency

A consistent message is a strong message. Insure all elements, including colors, fonts, copy, imagery and delivery are consistent among your campaign by not waiting until the last minute. Planning takes time between creative, idea mapping, proofing and all the elements that create one marketing piece. Adding brand standards to your marketing strategy is an important tool to insure a consistent message is delivered.

Budgeting

Rush orders, last minute projects and missed campaign components can have a draining impact on a marketing budget. A detailed marketing strategy significantly decreases the changes of unexpected expenditures. The plan may also stretch your marketing dollars farther than expected when media, printing or other services are bought early and/or in bulk packages.

Taking it to the Web

As web traffic increases each year, it is important you don’t fall behind. Retargeting and programmatic buying are just two vehicles for reaching your target audience through web marketing. The use of mobile devices to access the web is also growing at a fast pace. Increase user experience by creating a mobile optimized website and incorporating vanity URLs and landing pages to your online and print ads.

Most hunters already know which days and times they plan to sit in the deer stand, how many vacation days they are taking or have saved, and what time of day that trophy monster visits their area. Approaching your marketing strategy with the same mindset positions your company at the front of the herd for 2016.

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