It’s never too late to make a fresh start. At the same time as dusting down those running shoes, cutting out chocolate and taking out a gym membership, why not apply the same principle to your marketing activity too? Here’s a quick marketing workout for your business.
1. What’s working and what’s not?
Take a look at what marketing activity you have been doing over the past year – what has been working and what’s not been delivering the required results? Dig out any statistics you might have, or consider some market research to help you identify what works and what doesn’t.
Categorise your activity as a) activity to continue, and improve, b) activity to stop doing because it’s not working, and c) activity that could work given some further attention.
A lot can change in a year, so review all news and intelligence reports relating to the industry you are in and the markets in which you operate. What are other businesses doing that deliver results? Who is successful in your field? What can you do that builds on your successes and helps you be heard over the noise?
If your company is not growing at the same rate as your competitors then further analysis is needed to determine where you are going wrong.
3. Innovate to survive
What might you need to change about your product or service to be able to compete this year? Do you need to put product development plans in place, review your pricing strategy or provide added value to your customers? Does your product/service portfolio need some deadwood weeding out?
Do you need to think differently about your marketing communications? Use social media or different channels to market?
4. Re-align your brand
Branding shouldn’t change with the seasons as it is a long-term investment, as opposed to campaigns which need to be seasonal and topical. However every now and then you should take a look at your brand positioning, tone of voice and creative identity. Are they clear and focussed? Are you staying true to your brand? Fine tune your brand or take steps to re-align your activity with it again so that you are conveying a clear and consistent message.
Are you making the most of all opportunities to get your message heard? Does all your marketing activity have a consistent message, compelling proposition and strong call to action? All the marketing activity you identified in step 1 as A or C should be reviewed to ensure that it is working as hard as it should be.
Are you promoting your social media accounts on your print, and is your customer journey simple on your website? Take the time to review and refresh now so that your year is as good as it can be.
Avoid the yo-yo diet
Like diets, the focus on evaluating your marketing will come and go throughout the year, once the day-to-day activity or other priorities take over. Make sure that you plan in regular reviews to check on performance, otherwise you could end up waiting another year before ditching that email campaign that isn’t working for you. Regular reviews will help you stay on top of your game and allow you to react faster.
If a quick marketing workout highlights that there is more wrong than right with your current approach, then it is definitely time to review your marketing strategy from scratch so that you can set your business on the best footing for the year ahead.