How well is your marketing working for you?
Great planning matters. Why? Because a goal without a plan is just a wish … and hope is not a strategy.
Embarking on a new year can bring the excitement of fresh ideas and opportunities, but the planning process is easy to put off because it feels like an overwhelming task. And now, more than ever, marketing reevaluation could be the thing that make or break a business. A "set-it-and-forget-it" approach is one of the fastest ways to lose money and waste effort. To make year-end planning simple, we have created a 10-point checklist to help you review and refine your current strategy, and make sure it fits your sales and marketing objectives.
1: Assess the performance of the year (even if the year was unexpectedly unpredictable)
What worked and what didn’t? Did you see ROI from your efforts? Then, answer "what do you think you should start, stop, and continue?" If you don’t know where you stand, it’s hard to make a future plan.
2: Evaluate your client list
Go through the entire list and rate your clients as an A, B, or C. “A” clients are the ones that make you smile when you think of them and “C” clients are the opposite. You don’t feel like you are servicing them well because they aren’t seeing the value in what you provide. Clients in the “C” category are probably not a good fit and are likely taking time away from your best customers.
3: Clean up your contact database
Contact lists naturally decay by about 22% every year, so keeping yours clean and updated is critical for successful client outreach and engagement, especially if email marketing is one of your tactics.
4: Evaluate your content strategy and update your content calendar
If you don’t have either of the things mentioned above, that is a good place to start. What can you really tackle? Do you want to consider more video; new platforms; a better blog? You don’t have to figure out a whole year, but getting a handle on what you want to do and what you can handle is important so you can plan and budget for outside resources. Great content builds momentum, but if you can’t keep up, you can easily lose the momentum you gain.
5: Look at your website analytics to see what is getting attention
Your website traffic carries a wealth of intelligence. If you don’t have Google Analytics or some type of analytics dashboard, make it a priority. This information can be a goldmine when it comes to refining your strategy.
6: Repurpose high-performing content
Every business has content that gets great engagement. Just because you used it before does not mean you can’t use it again. Just be sure to adjust for relevance and timeliness.
7: Inventory your marketing and score it from 1-5
Make a list of everything you are doing to market your business; from networking to posting on social media. 1 being low and 5 being high. Anything that scores a 1 or 2 either needs to be cut entirely or greatly improved.
8: Review your budget
If you have a budget, take a close look at your ROI. If you don’t, set a realistic budget. This will help you make better marketing decisions. Keep in mind that great marketing is intended to get results and make you money. If you aren’t an expert at the strategies that you identify and you don’t have experts on staff, don’t try to do it yourself. While it may seem like you’re saving money, you are likely cannibalizing your time and wasting money on tactics that don’t work.
9: Keep an eye on your competition
This is a strategy that should be done all the time, but it's easy to lose sight of competitors when you already have too much on your plate. Looking at your competition is a great way to springboard new ideas. Ask yourself what is working for them and build a strategy that combats their marketing exposure. Look at their websites, social media engagement, blog posts, and reviews on sites like Yelp and Glassdoor.
10: Identify your top 1-2 priorities
Most businesses fall short of reaching their objectives because they put too many priorities on the list. Decide what your #1 priority will be within the realm of sales and marketing. Do you need a new website; brand refresh; a plan for converting more online leads? Make the goals specific and measurable and all other tactics and priorities should be designed to support it. Keeping an eye on one or two goals will allow you to narrow your focus and take responsibility for the results.
Download and share our end of year planning checklist
Don’t go it alone; let us help.
For those businesses that schedule a meeting with us before the end of the year, A-Train is happy to offer a complimentary, one-on-one planning session. We will provide an objective assessment and help you take one pesky planning task off your plate.