The best way to increase your 2019 sales inevitably depends on “who your target audience is, which can be a difficult task to identify.” The important questions to ask are how to market, where to market and the frequency of marketing. With so much competition it is critical that you adopt an online-offline mindset to effectively reach your target audience. Your marketing campaigns can deliver off the chart returns if your business utilizes trending digital marketing and traditional marketing collectively.
Creating a marketing plan is key to starting your business each year on the right foot. Your marketing plan will prepare you to address key business challenges and plan efforts that translate into tangible steps throughout the year. Proper planning creates cohesive strategies that lead to continuous success that your team can follow in their day-to-day activities. However, to achieve the best possible results and effectively attain growth, not spreading your resources and actions too thin is important. Being everywhere and doing everything is not a realistic goal. Although, testing different marketing vehicles is important, evaluation and benchmarks have to be introduced into the process early on.
By implementing affordable marketing techniques into your business, you have mapped the marketing audience by age, income, and/or household size. The goal is to create a long turn marketing funnel that continually produces leads for your business.
To maximize your campaign results there are many digital marketing vehicles that can make a significant impact on your business growth. For example, building visibility with a focus on SEO, online reputation management, maintaining a user friendly website, having personalized customer experiences, leveraging data with the right customer relations management tool, email marketing and so much more. Adding traditional marketing radio, magazines, telemarketing, postcards, newsletters, flyers etc. are also great ways to generate leads. With limited time and resources, we can never do it all. The challenge is finding where to gain momentum by building consistency, adding value and filling a need.
Prioritizing goals is crucial when planning your marketing strategy. The best way to think of your marketing plan is to consider the one thing that will ensure your business success. Having a master blueprint with year-to-year planning and outlined deliverables that are focused on your business goals is the way to avoid a gun shot approach that has not been thoroughly evaluated.
One of the main reasons that businesses fail is not having adequate planning. Therefore, having a strategic perspective on planning is a step in the right direction and provides the best chance for victory. The process of failing is not only a matter of going out of business, but it also entails missed opportunities, struggling to meet budgets and operating in the red. To avoid this, adopt the 6 fold holy grail of marketing into your business.
- Create a marketing strategy with goals and objectives
- Select different types of marketing (test and evaluate quarterly)
- Align marketing actions with business goals
- Consider discounts with your marketing campaigns to help bring in new customers
- Set timelines and benchmarks
- Develop an evaluation process
To stay on track, setting desired outcomes is key to measuring your return on investment (ROI). One basic truth about business is the need to have “profitable customers”. We mentioned, “how” you get to your target customers earlier as being an essential piece of your marketing plan. This step should take into consideration the competitive landscape that your business operates in. If your competitors dominate a specific marketing segment, you should take another marketing approach and do something that will make your business standout.
Questions to get you started with your marketing plan
- What is your annual marketing budget?
- What is your primary product/service?
- Who are your target customers’?
- Where do your target customers’ live?
- Who are your best target customers’ and why?
- What is your target customers’ income?
- What is your target customers’ education?
- How often will your target customers’ buy your products/service?
- What is your referral business strategy?
- What differentiates your business from your competitors?
- What is your business value proposition?
- Who are your top 5 competitors in your region?
- What is your SWOT Analysis? Strengths, Weaknesses,Opportunities and Threats
By building a marketing plan you are making an essential investment in your business that will lead you to a leading position in your market. Before you can become a market leader you must first, fully understand the market, your position and the position of your competitors. By outlining a SWOT analysis, (SWOT) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats your business better understands the competition. This strategic approach will be advantageous in your overall project planning.
Trending Marketing Vehicles
- Influencer Marketing
- Digital /SEO/Content
- Advertising – FB, Instagram, PPC,
- Public Relations/Press Releases/Media
- User friendly website
- Direct Mail/postcards/flyers
- Event Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
The strategy that is better for your business will depend on the size of your marketing budget and the frequency of your marketing actions. With a marketing plan in place you can save time and money by managing your marketing strategically. Remember that marketing on multiple channels with no established benchmarks is not recommended. Ready to take your business to the next level?