Prepare for the new year by revisiting your marketing strategy
As we are heading towards the dawn of a new year, it is a good time for many marketers to pause and reflect before continuing with the journey ahead. This phase should also mark the time to evaluate the strategies that worked and the ones that did not.
This should also mean gathering your sales and marketing team together to get everyone realigned to the future direction. When it comes to strategies, we have to focus on certain key areas to bring about greater results next year.
Here are some helpful tips for your strategic planning sessions:
- Revisit your marketing plan and budget: As you know, products and services do not sell themselves. Many businesses allocate a percentage of actual or projected gross revenues for marketing initiatives. Knowing how much you have to spend on marketing is critical; even more critical is how you spend it.Your small business budget should be a component of your marketing plan, outlining the costs of how you are going to achieve your marketing goal within a certain timeframe. Marketing plans should be maintained on an annual basis at a minimum and revisited if you launch a new product or service or if the market landscape changes.
- Assess your ideal customer profile and personas: The first step is to create broad descriptions of each ideal customers as to what they do and what is important to them in doing a business with a company like yours. Secondly, you should identify unique user goals and most important features like the best way to engage with that customer, the language that the customer prefers to state their problem and the reason why the customer is reluctant to try out your offering. The next step would be to locate and list where customers will find you. This may include the websites that they visit, the blogs they read, the type of content appealing to them and the search terms they use.
- Map your buyer’s journey: The buyer’s journey is the active research process that a potential buyer goes through leading up to their purchase. Try to understand and review the three stages (awareness, consideration and decision) of this journey by crafting a story around their journey.
- Analyze your differentiators: No business can survive by selling on price alone.The crucial factor is knowing what makes your business different from the competition.Even if you are selling a service in highly competitive space , there is always something that should differentiate your business.These differentiators should be clearly defined and be made part of your sales strategy. Revisit your differentiators each year and make sure those still resonate with your target buyers and it’s fresh in the minds of everyone in your team.
- Review and organize your marketing collateral: This has to be done often to make your marketing materials meet and exceed your business goals. Your white papers/E-books, videos, lead nurturing emails, testimonials, industry relevant success stories, blog content and corporate brochures should all add value to your prospect and clients and align with their objectives. Make sure you have a system and process in place to check and validate your marketing collateral aligns with your business goals, marketing strategy and brand message.
- Review your website and online marketing: Your digital marketing health should be checked regularly. This includes evaluating your website traffic and bounce rate, investigating your mobile website, looking over your rankings, making sure the links to your website is coming from websites with high authority
- Review and document your sales process: The different stages and milestones in the sales process has to be clearly defined so that it is universally understood by sales personnel. They should know where a particular deal stands or how they should be managing deals in each stage without guessing. The sales process has to align with the buyer’s journey. Invest the time in developing a unique process for your team that can be easily understood. The CRM system can be used to measure the progress of your sales in the form
- Document your sales and marketing strategy: This is your roadmap to grow your business.This should include executive summary,elevator pitch, company mission statement, SWOT analysis,goals, key performance indicators, target customers, industry analysis, competitive analysis & advantage, comprehensive marketing plan, team, operations plan and financial projections.
- Track your progress and evolve your tactics: It is very important to keep track of your audience and adjust your inbound tactics accordingly. This starts with a solution that will support both quantitative and qualitative analysis of your marketing goals, such as what to measure, understanding the data, and a way to improve your current numbers. Luckily, there are so many ways and tools to choose from when it comes to measuring inbound success.These include SEO rankings, inbound links, tracking website traffic, landing page conversion rates and leads generated to name a few. Utilizing marketing tools like clickx.io can help you simplify reporting the key performance indicators of marketing.