New Year, New Marketing Challenge

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Happy New Year! We’re all renewed after the Christmas break. We’ve over indulged, we’ve laughed – possibly cried, even screamed. Now it’s time to start afresh with a new lease of life. And that could well mean your business marketing too. Here’s some thoughts on where to start.

Where are you right now?

Be honest. Find some time to consider your current situation regarding your marketing and appreciate what the picture truly looks like:

  • What marketing are you undertaking regularly?
  • Is it working and can you prove this?
  • Who is responsible for it and have they sufficient resources?
  • If using outside help, is it the right fit for your business?
  • Are you proud of your marketing?
  • What would your customers honestly say about your marketing?
  • What are your competitors up to?

Too many companies avoid finding time to consider and reflect on their current marketing effectiveness. And yet this essentially enables you to understand where and how you need to go forward. Consider your strengths and weaknesses (and be honest!) Think about the opportunities that exist in your market place in addition to the threats that might be looming. They might be challenges that you can effectively react to or threats that you can do nothing about – like the potential impact of Brexit on your business. But consider it nonetheless.

Where to start?

Never a black and white answer, no two business will have the same starting point. You might be carrying out very little marketing at all, or you might be achieving some results and want to do a better job. Here’s a checklist to get you thinking:

  • Do you have a clear understanding of your target audience (customers and prospects)?
  • Do you know how to reach your target audience?
  • Do you know what motivates your target audience?
  • Are you happy with your company image and branding?
  • Is your website as you would like it and are you keeping it up to date?
  • Are you clear on the company character and personality that you wish to project?
  • Are you active in social media, PR, email marketing and direct marketing?
  • Could you improve the effectiveness of the above activities?

So, what now?

Armed with a large amount of thoughts and information, consider what your marketing priorities are going to be for 2017. There might be particular market sectors to focus on. There might be activities that you want to develop further – or even start from scratch!

Can you achieve this in-house? Again, honesty is the key here. We all have good intentions. It’s about having both the time and the right skill-set available.

Communicate your thoughts with your colleagues and perhaps they can help you decide on the best way forward. You’ll also get some honest feedback I would imagine.

If you need some help in developing a marketing plan for 2017, it might be worth a phone call to Cantaloupe. Friendly and most down to earth, we could put aside some time to assist in a small or much larger way.

In the meantime, if you do nothing else about your marketing, make sure that you’re tackling these areas to the best of your ability:

  • Try to maintain a consistent company image across all types of communication. This includes the use of your logo, company colours, fonts and tone of voice.
  • Make your website the best it can be and keep it up to date. You might aspire to a better design or functionality but don’t neglect what you have already.
  • If you have a database of customers, keep in touch with them. That might be face-to-face, by phone, email or post. Preferably using all of these methods.
  • If you’re confident in talking to the press, identify a few key contacts and get conversing – this might be local press, specific trade titles or websites.
  • Get social! Allocate a small amount of time every week to social media, focus on particular platforms and start to build. Even an hour a week can deliver results.
  • Try to encourage your entire team to think like marketers! Focus on your customer first and listen to what they want and need. Share ideas amongst the team regularly and ensure that you’re all after the same goal.