Reviewing and Revising Your Marketing Plan
A marketing plan (and a business plan) is a living document detailing your budget, advertising venues, PR, branding, as well as every aspect of your guests' experience – from the first point of contact to the final "come again". As such, it's subject to frequent adjustments. This is a perfect opportunity, while the season is still fresh in your mind, to review your marketing plan and refine it based on results, new goals, and next year's budget.
Sit down with your partner(s) or management team and begin by asking questions:
- Was business up or down for 2008? Why?
- There may be several contributing factors from better advertising reach or new amenities on the plus side to road construction or more competition on the down side.
- How effective were your advertising venues/dollars? What's your budget for next year?
- Determine what worked and what did not. Set a baseline goal of what's acceptable for your ad spend. Review your budget for the upcoming year and begin considering ad allocation.
- Where did a majority of new business come from? Referral? Internet? Directories? Park review sites?
- Are there any areas you need to concentrate on more heavily? Referral bonuses? Link exchanges? Directory ratings?
- Did you have a mechanism to survey guests? In what areas did you improve and do you need improvement?
- How satisfied were your guests, what brings them back and what encourages them to send their friends?
- What industry/business changes do you anticipate for 2009? How can you meet the challenges based upon your forecast?
- Is there a new water park opening in your neighborhood? How will you handle increased reservations? Is your staffing level adequate? How will you attract seasonal or long stay guests?
You'll help yourself by being as honest and forward thinking as possible. Plan to spend a little bit of time each week for as long as it takes (a month should do it) on your marketing plan update. Keep returning to it, revising it and creating a substantial road map for marketing into the next season…your future depends upon it.
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