What are your marketing resolutions?
Well, itâ€™s that time of year again; the time of year when we reflect on what we did – and did not – accomplish in the past year.Â We are determined that we will accomplish our goals during this new year.Â 2014 is a clean slate!
To help you achieve your business goals for 2014, here are some marketing resolutions you should consider:
1. Properly identify your target market
The most important marketing resolution is to make sure you have properly identified your target market.Â Given that there is always a cost associated to marketing, you want to spend your money in the most cost-effective manner.Â The â€œshotgunâ€ approach to marketing your products/services will cost you more than just money; it can also cost you credibility.
Â 2. Look at your business through your clientsâ€™ eyes
Sometimes weâ€™re too close to our projects to see their strengths and weaknesses.Â Be objective and remove yourself from the equation to see the value you are providing to your clients.Â Make sure that you are satisfying the needs of your clients and are not basing your marketing decisions on your own wishes.
3. Review your past marketing efforts
Learn from the past! It simply makes no sense to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at your past marketing experiences and see what worked.Â If you have no past marketing experience, learn from the experiences of others.Â Talk to a business colleague or mentor.Â Observe your industry.Â When youâ€™re ready, hire a consultant to review the results of your evaluation.Â And pay attention to what appeals to you. After all, you are someoneâ€™s client, too!
4. Determine your structure and strategyÂ
Map out your marketing strategy.Â Be clear on your goals and objectives; determine a realistic budget and a method to measure your ROI.Â By applying a strategic approach to your marketing you will be able to implement a structured, measurable marketing plan.
5. Choose the most effective marketing materials
What advertising mediums are most effective in reaching your clients and prospects?Â With the plethora of choices that exist when it comes to marketing and advertising methods, which Â will be most effective to reach your audience?Â Are they best approached through electronic means or would a more traditional â€œofflineâ€ campaign be more successful? Also, consider the costs of the various options and how that works into your budget.
6. Develop and determine timelines
How will you communicate with your clients?Â If youâ€™re using social media, how often will you communicate through that channel?Â Are you providing a newsletter on a predetermined schedule?Â Make sure you set and stick to any timelines that are developed.
7. Review your branding and online presence
How does your business look to your clients and prospects, and are you using online tools to communicate with them?Â Is your website easy to navigate?Â Is it mobile responsive?Â Since no one even uses Yellow Pages anymore, are you even being found? Many options exist to measure how you stack up against your competition online.Â Others evaluate issues that affect your online ranking.Â Consider investing in a review.
While many problems are quick fixes that can be handled in-house with little additional expense, you may want to use this information as a foundation for building your marketing plan in 2014.