Kick-off your 2023 marketing plan

By: Richard Michie

If 2023 is anything like 2020, 2021 and 2022, (who could have imagined three tougher years?!) the going will be tough for lots of businesses. The businesses that survived theses years best have either:

  1. Planned ways to roll with the changing business climate
  2. Emerged from the fallout with some new ways of working

The majority of businesses don’t fall into category two, which shows that planning ways to cope financially, organisationally, emotionally and marketingly (I just created that word) make your business and your team much more resilient.

Marketing planning is one thing we can advise you on. You really need a plan to kick-off 2023, just like every other year, but lots of people haven’t thought about it.

Marketing plans are nothing to be scared of, they should be cherished, crafted, re-written, tested and, importantly, measured. Having a strong, but flexible, plan will really kick-off your marketing in 2022.

Is it too late to make a marketing plan for 2023?

The New Year is just around the corner, it may already be here when you’re reading this, but a 2023 marketing plan doesn’t have to start in January. I’m writing this in December 2021 and, if you’ve not already started, you are too late to launch a January marketing plan.

That’s ok though, just push it back to a later month. It is much better to begin when you are ready, and not be a slave to a calendar when there’s no need. Your 2023 marketing plan can begin in February, March or April, but the sooner you have an agreed plan the quicker you’ll begin learning from it.

What should go into your 2023 marketing plan?

Budget, add a marketing budget

For lots of businesses this is the last thing they’ll add. Money scares people, especially when they can’t be sure their plans will work. But if you don’t put a budget against you plan, you aren’t being realistic about what you want your marketing to achieve.

Even if you don’t have a budget to “spend” your marketing has a cost.

  • Social Media is free
  • Blogging is free
  • Making a video is free
  • Sending an email free.

Except they aren’t, they cost – time, skill, craft, creativity and bravery.

Even if you don’t have a cash budget, you have to budget for the time and people you need to carry out your marketing. And if you don’t have a cash budget all those other elements need to work so much harder.

Marketing planning 2023

Add the obvious things into your marketing plan

A blank page/spreadsheet is your enemy when you are planning your marketing, so get something on it. Artists call this making a mark, that first stroke that gets you moving, even if you rub it out later.

So, what’s obvious?

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Easter
  • School Holidays
  • Sporting tournaments
  • Halloween
  • Bonfire Night
  • Black Friday
  • Cyber Monday
  • Christmas
  • New Year
  • Industry Events
  • Awards
  • Company birthday and other significant dates

Now add regular things to your marketing plan

Nothing works better than setting yourself regular tasks. If it’s in the plan, it has to happen, unless it comes out for a very good reason. Here are some regular things to add.

2023 marketing plan

Pulling your marketing plan together

Now you have lots to do, refer back to your cash or time budget and work out what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do and what you would LIKE to do. Once you’ve done that apply the following formula.

Do what you MUST do, no questions, make it happen, allocate the budget make someone responsible and accountable.

Review what you SHOULD do, and decide if you really MUST add it to your marketing plan, or it’s just something you would LIKE to do but it’s not essential. If it’s not a MUST it has to make way for something that is.

Once you have all the elements of your marketing plan which you MUST do, apply your budget and then with any remaining go back to your SHOULD do list and see if you can still achieve any of those ideas within the budget.

Remember marketing budget isn’t always what you’re spending with Google or Facebook, it’s time and skill too.

Make your marketing measurable

Now you have your plan and you’ve allocated a budget make sure you can measure it. The first thing to measure is that the marketing tasks are completed. That may sound obvious, but it needs to happen, otherwise the time and budget you spent on planning was wasted before you began!

Different aspects of your plan will have different measurements, and some are hard to find, but each must have an outcome you which makes an impact. If not take it out of the plan.

Be prepared to rip up your marketing plan

The last few years have taught us that life changes really quickly. So be ready to change your plan at a moments notice. When this happens it’s a pain and upsets lots of people, but having a marketing plan in the first place makes this much easier to do and ride with the changes.

When the shit hits the fan, a well-planned business has somewhere to look for their marketing, that could be something a few weeks or months away, after the current crisis has passed, it could be moving that budget around to face the new problem, it could be bringing an idea forward. The possibilities are endless.

But if you don’t have a plan, you’ll soon wish you had.

If we can help you with your marketing planning, give us a call on 0113 477 1210 or fill in the form.

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

Case Studies


Marketing for Local Government

Moresby Hall Hotel

Hotel Rebranding

Sharp Consultancy

B2B Social Media for recruitment

The Edit LDN

Managing advanced eCommerce SEO

Better Connect

Digital PR and video production for events

Tango Networks

Marketing support for a global telecoms business

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