Your 2023 Annual Marketing Plan: It’s Time to Get Started

Crafting an annual marketing plan for your B2B company is becoming increasingly difficult. With the world changing so quickly, it’s hard enough planning on a quarterly basis, never mind annually. The world is still feeling the impact of COVID, and determining how, when and where companies should bring products to market is more challenging than ever.

Yet, creating an annual plan is one of a company’s biggest tasks for 2023. One thing always stands true when building an annual plan: It prompts marketing teams to focus on supporting the company’s business goals through marketing activities, including Positioning and Messaging, Content Marketing, Media and Analysts Relations, and Social Media Strategy. By planning carefully—and with great flexibility—you’ll be ready to tackle all the uncertainty that 2023 may bring.

Building a plan starts with some of the elements you can mostly easily get from your internal teams, such as the C-suite (CEO, CTO, etc.), the sales team, product management and even from your customer base. For many companies, the annual plan is incredibly detailed, but for others, like SMBs, or for companies that only have one vertical market (such as healthcare) in their customer base, your annual plan may be more of a general outline with details to be filled in later as they become crystalized by other departments. Your plan might answer questions like what customers will be announced, what enhancements are in the product roadmap, how the company’s technology will evolve in 2023, and more.

It’s rare for marketing teams (or any other team for that matter) to get the full budget they request, and often they’ll get asked to remove items they deem critical to the team’s success. To try to keep your budget requests intact, provide as much detail as possible about how your marketing goals will be achieved.

Getting what you ask for starts with understanding the company’s BUSINESS goals for the year. Depending on how your company is structured, these goals can be broad, such as “launch services in five new markets” or “establish a new office in Europe.” But they can also be very specific, for example, “grow year-over-year revenue by 12 percent.” Whatever the CEO’s goals are, the marketing team needs to understand them, and the rationale behind them, to truly create a marketing plan that clicks. Understanding the company’s business goals for the coming year allows the marketing teams to create strategic MARKETING goals—and then subsequently the programs that help them meet both.

So, what should marketing leaders specifically be asking the CEO? Here are some questions to get started:

  • What are your revenue and profit margin goals for the year?
  • Are there any new vertical markets we plan to enter?
  • Are there any new geographic areas we plan to enter?
  • Will our employee count increase next year?
  • Are there any expected “events” on the horizon, such as an acquisition, merger or public offering?

Because of the ongoing uncertainty of COVID and supply chain issues, we highly recommend drawing up three-month plans to deal with the tactics that your annual strategies are built upon, as well as mini-plans that will guide the tactics of new opportunities as they arise. By having this plan in place and making sure all activities map back specifically to your business goals, you’ll be sure to deliver the results your team needs to find success.

Want to learn more about how to create a Strategic Annual Marketing Plan? Contact Calysto today.

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