It’s that time of year…when companies take stock of their marketing strategies for the year and prepare for the following year. Whether or not you have a plan, there are a few strategies that will help ensure that you spend wisely and see the results you’re seeking next year:
Know Your Audience: To whom are you selling? Before you spend any resources (time or financial) on any one venue or tactic, you should have a clear picture of your ideal target. Define them in detail. Don’t forget partnerships and joint ventures with other businesses.
- Start with a Basic Sales and Marketing Strategy: This should consist of a company-wide goal and should be clearly defined. What should your monthly or quarterly or annual sales reach? Will you focus on certain product(s) or service(s)? What is your main marketing message?
- Focus on where you will find your customers: Don’t jump into Twitter just because everyone else has an account. But don’t be afraid to try a new marketing tactic just because it’s overwhelming or new. Ask your customers for feedback on where they hang out to get some ideas, or ask your salespeople or receptionists to survey customers to track results.
- Do you need to invest more resources in a certain area? Maybe you need to put some funds toward a new or revised website, or need additional manpower for your social media presence. Make sure you have enough in the budget to allow for that to happen.
- Divide your budget accordingly: As they say, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, but try to divide your media placements and campaigns equally throughout the year, allowing for seasonal or peak adjustments, if needed.
- Use and reuse your marketing content: By presenting the same or similar message in multiple places, you’re making your marketing more cost-effective and consistent. There are many ways to do this, which I will cover in a future blog post.
- Know and stick to your budget (but allow for some wiggle room): Things always come up throughout the year and you end up spending more than you estimated. So leave some cushion for unexpected expenses or for a worthy cause that your company would like to promote. And don’t be afraid to tell a vendor that you have earmarked your marketing dollars elsewhere.
- Find a way to track results: As mentioned below, try to track your efforts so you can determine the effectiveness. For social media, track the number of social shares, new followers/fans, or links to your website. Check your website analytics regularly, and as mentioned above, always ask customers how they found your company.
With these eight strategies in place, you’ll be more likely have a more successful year than the one before.