So, it’s that time of year again. January 1st is just around the corner and you’re preparing (or at least should be!) for the start of the best calendar business year yet.
The secret is all in your marketing plan. The more opportunities you create to get your foot in the door, the more opportunities you have to quote, the more opportunities you have to win more customers. Simple! Or is it..?
When it comes to marketing planning, there are a number of factors you need to consider whether or not you choose to get a marketing agency involved. This blog is a simple highlight of some of the factors you need to consider when getting your 2019 marketing strategy in order. Here goes:
Set a marketing budget
You plan to make a certain amount of money a month. If you’re planning for the amount coming in, you should also be planning for the amount going out. Create a realistic budget based on past marketing spend plus any new avenues you want to pursue. The more you plan and write it down, the more likely it is to happen. Fact.
Measure your marketing
How effective is your marketing? Do you have a set of measured figures outlining how much you’ve got back from the money you’ve put into a marketing channel? If not, the following 3 letters need to be your mantra for 2019: ROI. ROI stands for Return on Investment. If you can measure your marketing, you can manage your marketing. Here’s a simple example of an ROI measurement: Curtains Ltd spent £1000 on a marketing campaign. This marketing campaign brought in £30,000 of business (that’s a lot of curtains!). As Curtains Ltd measured where every sale came from, they knew that they had an ROI ratio of 1:30, that is, for every £1 they spent, they made £30 in turnover. This simple example doesn’t take into consideration the cost of sales, overheads, tax etc but it gives an idea of the success of the campaign.
Review your suppliers
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. Make sure your suppliers are giving you the best value for money (something that comes naturally to me as a Bradford born and bred Yorkshireman!). It’s a competitive world out there, if they’re not giving the best possible deal, then someone else will. Getting a good deal means you can pass this saving on to your own wallet watching clients. In addition to this, the service or products your suppliers offer will inevitably have some kind of impact on your image. Make sure whatever it is you’re paying for is reflecting your brand values and maintaining the high standards that will keep your clients coming back for more.
Review your pricing
Is your price right for what you are offering? What is your price saying about your brand? Are you the Netto or Marks and Spencer of your market? A useful tool to understand this is a Perceptual Map. A Perceptual Map is a visual representation of how customers see your brand when comparing quality against price (though these criteria can vary). A simple way to create a perceptual map would be to ask customers to (honestly) score your brand/ product/ service out of 10 – separately for price and quality. Then get them to do the same thing for competing brands. Placing your score on a graph as in the image will give you an idea of how your brand is perceived. When you’ve done this, look at the results and ask yourself – ‘is this where I want to be?’
Review your communications.
Last but certainly not least – review how you are communicating with your customers. Are you using any of the below channels/ principles?
- Direct mail
- Email marketing
- Pay per click
- Text marketing
If you are using any of the above, could you be doing it better? How could you improve it? Is it getting you the results you want? (see number 2 above)
Before you look deeply into your communications channels, it’s worth looking at your platforms. How strong is your branding? Is your website user-friendly and does it give your customers what they want? Is your marketing literature up to date and does it get the right message across?
There you have it, folks. A 5 step marketing checklist for 2019 (and any other year for that matter). Whether you’re marketing your business in Bradford or Timbuktu, these are pretty important things to look out for (amongst many others). There are many more factors you need to consider when putting your business marketing plan together, but these should give you a healthy pointer in the right direction.
As a marketing agency, we’ve helped businesses grow throughout the UK from our Bradford office. We’ve helped businesses get past a lot of the ‘wooly’ parts of their planning and provided the focus that can sometimes become easy to lose. If you want any more information on any of the above, feel free to get in touch. We’d love to help!