As you have seen, 2018 has been a year of steady change and there has been evolution in marketing tactics. Innovative tools and technology have fetched new approaches and opportunities.

There are ever varying algorithms and contradicting information about what works and what doesn’t. Developing a solid marketing plan is still the groundwork for success though the implementation may change from time to time.

In order to increase brand awareness and generate qualified sales from the leads that convert, the only pathway is to have a solid plan. Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach said – Hope, is not a plan.

Read these key steps which you can undertake while developing your marketing budget for 2019:

Ascertain Your Key Business Goals

Increasing your bottom line is the goal of marketing. You need a clear and firm understanding of your business goals before you can effectively create your marketing strategy. The strategy of your marketing budget should focus on creating the end result you require to meet your business goals.

This arrangement generates greater opportunity while giving your clearly distinct KPIs to measure success. The companies that closely aligned sales goals and marketing saw a 36 percent increase in customer retention rate apart from a 38 percent increase in conversion rates.

Identify Your Marketing Budget

Once you are firm about your goals, the next step is to look at what it will take to meet them. Go for a detailed marketing plan that supports your company’s vision. Also, identify a budget to put it into action.

It’s vital to note how your marketing expenditure matches up with your competitors. Forrester estimates that marketing expenditure, on the whole, will continue to increase and that digital marketing expenditure will increase at a healthy rate of 11% in a compounded yearly growth rate between now and 2021.

Find Out the Most Successful Strategy for Your Business

For the year 2019, video and mobile have to be at or in top of every marketer’s list. In the U.S., 69% of people have access to the internet on a smart phone. And a whopping 85% of internet users view videos online.

Below are some of the trends you should pay due attention to while coming up with your marketing budget plan.

Video

In the U.S., more than half the populations watch videos online every day. While other videos are viewed too, product videos and how-to videos are confirmed techniques to grab attention, conversions and engagement. If you add video to your marketing mix, it can increase conversion rates by as much as 80%.

Mobile

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. If your website is not mobile-friendly, search engines will penalize your website. The majority of traffic comes from mobile devices and thus it’s vital to design everything you do for mobile first. You can then adapt for a desktop view version.

Account Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-based marketing is particularly valuable for B2B sellers. It is similar to having a super smart CRM which aids managing relationships and targets the most lucrative customers and customizes content for maximum results.

Word-of-mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing and influencer marketing has always been one of the most powerful forms of advertising. You can use industry leaders and influencers to validate your products or services and spread the word. It can be powerful. You can say the same words, but it is more valuable and relatable if it comes from a credible source.

Business Intelligence (BI)

Taking a deep dive into the metrics has been seen to yield noteworthy results. It is vital for you to measure your campaigns and maximize their effectiveness. Inspect continuously to create more successful campaigns and cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence can aid foreseeable prospect needs across customer experience. For instance, Chat bots can help provide instant answers for B2B customers. It can also aid direct prospects more speedily into your sales funnel.

Machine learning can help build efficiencies over time as data permits for the optimization of marketing. It automatically adjusts to maximize your expenses.

Remember the Tried And True

Not everything that glitters is gold. Don’t be too enamored with this year’s bright shiny objects. SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, Display and Content Marketing continues to work effectively.

Put Together Your Plan and Allocate Your Budget

You should be bringing a fresh look in what you’re doing each year. Let go off the things that haven’t been effective and focus on the things that create the best ROI.

You will be able to create clear, measurable tactics by identifying your goals and then design specific strategies to reach those goals.

It is vital to generate a tracking mechanism for all of your marketing expenditure so as to be able to evaluate the ROI.

Lastly, and most importantly, look after your clients you you begin working with them if B2B, or customers if B2C.