For those companies without the luxury of a large sales and marketing department, I thought I would gift you with 12 ideas (one for each month of the year) on how to positively impact your marketing results in the coming year.
- Refresh your Brand: Is your current company brand up to par? Consider revising or re-designing your company’s logo. If you have a logo you’re happy with, make sure all materials are consistent with each other, and if not, update them. You should also update any key messaging such as mission statements, ad slogans or taglines, or create new ones if desired.
- Plan, Plan, Plan: Everyone knows what happens to companies that fail to plan. So, start this year out by carefully thinking through your marketing and sales efforts, rather than being reactive throughout the year. Balance out the categories of your expenditures to ensure maximum impact.
- Consider New Ventures: Planning a new product or service launch in the new year? Are you going after a new market or entering a new category? If so, you’ll need to plan your marketing accordingly and enable the support of that new venture.
- Re-Evaluate your Competition: A new year is a good time to look at your current competitive landscape, as a lot can change over the course of a year. Check out your competition’s websites. See what’s been covered about them in news media, and what products or services they’re featuring in advertisements. Compare your competitors’ efforts to your own efforts and discover how you’re better and where you can stand out.
- Consider Social Media: If you haven’t taken full advantage of what social media offers, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to connect with current and future customers. Review your previous years’ social media pages to see where you can improve. Follow and interact more, share more, and update your pages.
- Show your Expertise with a Blog: You’ve heard me recommend this time and time again, but blogging is a great way to stay top-of-mind while answering common prospect questions, educating and displaying your expert status. A weekly blog will also drive website traffic via search engines and give you something to post on social media (see above).
- Up Your Communication Ante: We all know that it takes many touch points to convert a customer. How can you increase the frequency of your communication to close the sale? Consider email marketing, online and print advertising, events, PR, social media and other forms of communication.
- Coordinate Sales and Marketing Teams: When sales and marketing teams aren’t working together, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Make sure your sales and marketing staff meet regularly to stay on top of current developments and coordinate activities.
- PR for Major Announcements: Does your company have plans to announce anything major this year? Plan on making public announcements for major awards, events or other newsworthy items in a press release sent to local media and online trade outlets. Bonus: An online press release can also help you with SEO (search engine optimization).
- Form New Partnerships: Consider forming partnerships with like-minded companies who sell to a similar audience as your company. Use the power of their connections to guest blog post, conduct joint-marketing seminars, mailers, events or other forms of communication.
- Impact the Community: Make sure that your company is an active part of the community in which your company resides. Donate, participate and give back and your marketing efforts will have an even greater impact.
- Pull it All Together: With all the above ideas, you still want to make sure that your marketing plan functions in a cohesive, structured manner. Map out your weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual activities and budget so that there are no surprises along the way. This will ensure that your plan goes smoothly and that your budget is spent wisely.
I wish you the best of luck as you venture into another year in business. Please let me know if any of these tips helped you by reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling me at 317.414.3623. Happy New Year!