Why does your small business need a marketing review?
How did your small business perform this past year? Did your marketing efforts help you increase visibility, generate more leads or find new clients? Whether you feel your marketing was successful or not, now is the perfect time to conduct a marketing review prior to putting your marketing plan in place for the new year. A marketing review will help you determine what marketing activities stay, what goes and what needs a bit of tweaking.
You didn’t achieve one or more of your goals.
Your business may have had a great year but lost sight of some of your marketing goals. Maybe you had too many goals. Or maybe your goals weren’t focused on outcomes. Most likely the goals that weren’t accomplished were not aligned with the vision you have for your business. Review your goals and determine which ones get you closer to your vision. Those that don’t should go. Setting goals that help you get to your destination will make them much more important to you and therefore, more likely to be accomplished.
Your target market has changed.
Have you noticed a difference in the type of clients you now attract or want to attract? As your business grows and matures, your ideal client will naturally evolve. As you get a clearer perspective on your business, you begin to attract an audience that values what you have to offer, enjoys working with you and possibly are willing to pay more for your expertise. Not only does your business thrive by working with these clients, these clients benefit from working with you. By looking at and adjusting your target audience you can aim to attract a new target audience. These changes will require you to adjust your messages, content, service offerings and marketing activities.
Your messages miss your intended target.
Getting noticed in a crowded market is difficult. How do you create a message that cuts through the media clutter and captures the attention of your target audience so when they get to your website, they think “this business is exactly what I need”? Customers want solutions to their problems. Your core message needs to demonstrate how you solve their biggest challenge/s and why they should trust you and choose your business over the competition. Try to communicate the experiences your ideal customers will have because of your products and services and how they will benefit from working with your business.
Your brand is inconsistent across all of your communication mediums.
Your brand is everything you do and say, not just the visual image your business projects.
- Do you project the same image and message across all communication mediums?
- Do you present a consistent voice and tone when you communicate?
- Does your website accurately reflect who you are and what you offer?
- Is what you say on your social profiles consistent with what is on your website?
If your marketing tools are inconsistent, you confuse your prospects which reflects poorly on your brand. It is important that your brand be consistent in every place your business has a profile so that no matter where someone finds your business, they are left with a compelling, lasting and consistent impression.
Your website needs a face lift.
In addition to an inconsistent brand, is your website fresh and does it properly project your expertise? Without a clear, easy to navigate and quality website, your visibility is compromised. Creating a compelling website and investing in search engine optimisation helps you establish a strong web presence. As the hub of your web presence and the central focal point of your inbound marketing strategy, your website is where you can regularly develop and promote relevant, brand-related content that can drive leads, increase your revenue and communicate to customers or prospects.
Your marketing activities aren’t working.
Tracking your results helps you understand how each marketing activity is contributing to your success, so you can make informed decisions about whether to continue with what you are doing or try something else. For each marketing activity, answer the following questions:
- Does the activity help your business achieve its marketing goals?
- Has the activity resulted in new leads, brand visibility or sales?
- How much did the campaign cost in terms of dollars and resources?
- Was the return on your investment worth the effort?
If a marketing activity isn’t helping your business achieve its goals, generate new leads, awareness and sales, then you should discontinue that effort and move your resources onto something else that does contribute to the bottom line.
After completing your marketing review what’s next?
Your marketing review will provide your small business with valuable information to help you create a new or adjust an existing marketing plan. Keep doing what has worked and reassign resources (money or time) to new activities that may produce better results. Reallocation of resources may allow you to:
- Trim your marketing budget without hurting your revenue
- Spend some more time adding content and building relationships on social networks
- Invest in search engine optimisation or Facebook advertising to drive more visitors to your website
- Spend some time to improve your brand consistency (visually and voice)