I previously gave you some advice about reviewing your results from Marketing in your previous 12 months, reviewing those factors inside and outside the business might have had a bearing on performance. In this blog I want to look at some of the things you should think about when planning activities for this year.
The Outside World
I hope reviewing your activity last year got you thinking about what would you have done differently if you’d have thought about what may happen in the world around you during this past year?
Technological developments are changing the face of industry all the time. It’s hard for the youth of today to even understand that when we were their age we didn’t have mobile phones. I still remember getting my first one … and the aerial (which screwed in) was longer than my whole phone is. And wow we could any make phone calls, no texting, emails, photos!
Whatever your field take the time to consider what challenges are out there in technological developments, what your competitors might do, etc that are out of your control but you need to consider as they could have an impact on your business plans in the next 12 months.
Planning and Measuring Activity
Before you start your marketing campaigns for the year take time not only to plan but also make sure you’ve got the tools to measure their success. Successful companies work hard but really successful companies work smart as well. By measuring the outcomes of your campaigns you’ll know in future what works and what doesn’t, making life much simpler in future years.
What type of marketing campaigns and how should they be measured?
Social media is obviously a start point for any marketing campaign these days but before you go ahead take time to plan. Which platforms are most suitable for your customers? What do you want a social media campaign to achieve? Measuring outcomes on social media may come in the form of increased interactions such as likes, retweets and other engagement score systems. The important thing is understanding what you are trying to achieve and having a social media goal.
Tip: using tools such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite you can prepare social media posts in advance, meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering to post during your busy day – however DO make sure you respond as quickly as you can to messages you receive. Also make sure your posts are not too salesy or you will lose followers – it is after all SOCIAL media not SALES media.
I’m a firm believer that there is still room for direct approaches to marketing campaigns. When was the last time you were made to feel special by some post or a phone call from someone? In a technological era there is still the opportunity for a human touch, whether that be providing a hand written letter or making a personal phone call. Outcomes are easy to track on this type of activity as well.
Tip: Identify and build a rapport over social media with your top 5 target customers then maybe surprise them with a personally written letter or a phone call offering them advice on a personal basis – which could well turn into a sale.
There are other forms of advertising as well that may be more suited to your customer base. In the States printable coupons in magazines are still more popular than online voucher codes for the over 35s. Have you noticed how coupons are changing in the supermarkets now? Sainsburys prints your coupons for your next shop as you are paying for your goods. The supermarkets are making coupons more relevant to your shopping habits and not doing one coupon fits all. Everything is about ‘personal to you’ – consider this in your own marketing. Coupons are a traditional method of driving sales on products and with the collection of paper coupons activity becomes easy to track.
Blogs, magazine articles, nominations to business awards and email marketing are just some other ways you can raise your profile through marketing activities. The important thing is you plan and measure the outcomes of each.
My final tip, which I advise to all my clients during our one to ones is that no matter how busy you are ALWAYS make time for marketing and don’t forget to measure – preferably as you go along and not at the end of the year. If you consider stopping marketing because you are too busy – just remember how long and how hard you worked to get so busy in the first place.
This is just a taster of my tips for marketing. I’m working on some great campaigns across different platforms right now so if you’d like to book in for a no obligation coffee chat feel free to get in touch today.
Have a great year.