Marketing for marketing’s sake is a waste of time. Marketing needs to deliver results for your business.
Instead of doing what you’ve been doing in 2013, or just putting aside a budget for marketing without really thinking about your marketing strategy for the next year, make sure that your marketing will have maximum business impact by implementing these six strategies:
1. Identify and specify exactly what your marketing needs to deliver for 2014.
Develop the objectives and ensure there is buy in from the management team. Be specific. “Raise awareness about our new product” is far too general. “Increase the number of hits on our website’s new product page by 20%” is far more specific, which means you’re able to better plan towards achieving this goal. That in turn means you are more likely to hit your target.
2. Based on your objectives, define key measurements.
Identify three or four measures in your business that you can track consistently to ensure you are making progress in achieving your marketing objectives.
3. Determine three or four main marketing initiatives for the year.
Many people try to do too much. You may find that you have a list of great marketing ideas, but by pursuing all of them, you might actually be shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t dilute your budget by doing too much.
Identify the three or four top initiatives and disregard the rest. Focus on getting the projects that you commit to working perfectly, instead of spreading your resources across too many activities and doing them half-heartedly.
4. Don’t just follow the pack.
Remember that age-old parental response to “but everyone else is doing it”: “If everyone else jumped off a bridge would you do that too?” Often we spend so much time and energy following everyone else that we don’t look at what actually gets traction in our business and focus on that.
For example, “everyone” may be on social media, but if Facebook is just not working as a marketing tool for you, ditch it and stick to what does work.
Maybe your best marketing tool is a monthly client event. If that’s the case, rather focus your attention on doing that to the best of your ability.
5. Get your website working well.
Often companies set up a website when they begin operating and then forget about it. Remember that your website needs to be an accurate reflection of your company at all times, so refresh it.
Ensure that there is congruence between what you offer and what people find on the website. Ensure your keywords and SEO are working for your business. Your keyword list is critical for blogging, social media, PR and your website.
6. Don’t forget about internal marketing.
So often we forget that our employees are the most important people involved in developing our brand. Get them on board in terms of what you are trying to achieve from a marketing perspective, and make sure they’re the first to know about it before you begin to market externally.
About Donna Rachelson
Donna Rachelson is a branding and marketing specialist and has held a number of marketing director positions in blue-chip organisations including Nando’s, as well as marketing and project management positions at AECI and Standard Bank. Today, she is the founder of Branding & Marketing YOU, which offers keynote presentations, workshops, strategic marketing consulting, coaching and support services. She is also the author of the best-selling book Branding & Marketing YOU, the first South African based personal branding and marketing book.
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