The start of a new year is full of infinite possibilities and it’s only natural to want to jump on a speeding train and get right to work. There are a lot of great predictions on how marketing, especially digital marketing, will change in 2015 but before you dig in, make sure to follow through with these three steps to kick start your marketing for the year.

1. A Year In Review
Online metricsYou can’t know where you’re going without seeing where you have been. Before you start work on planning any 2015 marketing you first need to review all metrics relating to 2014 efforts and results. Gather analytic data from all the sources you have available including website tracking, social media, print media, referral sources and more. Gather your staff, admins or other key players and have a marketing “post-mortem” meeting where you discuss what worked and what didn’t the previous year. This is also a good time to review if you’ve actually been tracking the important data you need to make good business decisions.

2. Put It In Writing
A business plan is vital for success and marketing is such an important piece of your brand that it requires its own written plan. Create goals based on the things that will bring you the most growth this year. Write these goals into a marketing business plan that includes metrics and a due date. Your marketing plan should also include your budget. No matter what size your organization is, having written goals and a precise marketing budget will help you stay on track and get more accomplished.

3. Everyone On Board
Business owners often spend their time making sure their brand is properly represented to the public. As they hire employees they need to be just as concerned that their message is reaching every employee or vendor they work with. Internal brand awareness is essential to keeping things consistent and can strengthen your company’s position against competitors. Create a branding guide and hold training sessions or send out communication to staff to keep your guidelines top of mind.

Taking the time to review the previous year’s results and plot out where you want your marketing to take you in the next 12 months will put you far ahead of many small businesses. Your marketing plan will give you the direction you need to have your best year yet.