Hear that? It’s opportunity knocking. Over the next week or two, you have an opportunity to create something that will ultimately determine just how successful your small to medium size business will be in 2023. If you use this time wisely, you’ll be in position to grab market share, conquer your competitors, better communicate with your customers, and advertise your way to a winning 2023.
Here are 7 things you should be doing RIGHT NOW to create a winning marketing plan for the new year.
- Look back and learn. Did you make any mistakes in marketing in 2022? Take a look at your sales results, and overlay your marketing activity on it. Patterns should be obvious. If you stopped advertising, say, on TV, and your sales took a nosedive, it’s safe to assume that TV was driving sales for you. Lesson learned.
- Define your customers. Look at your current customers and come up with a demographic profile of your best customers. Who are they, where do they live, how old are they, what are their interests? Are they commuters, or do they work from home? What is their average income? This will all be important in the next step.
- Do some market research. Based on the customer profile developed in the last step, start researching how to best reach them. You probably have contact info for your current customers, so they’re easy for you to reach using a simple email campaign. Many of them might be following your company or brand on social media. Right now you should do the research and learn how to find a “look alike audience” of other consumers with similar traits and characteristics as your current customers.
- Learn where they “hang out.” I don’t mean are they hanging at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. But what are their media habits. Are they heavy social media users, or are they streaming movies and TV shows? If you learn that many are commuters, then take a look at outdoor advertising, radio, and podcasts. Then start choosing your media.
- Establish a marketing budget and a media plan. One plan, all the media. This should always include the cost of the media, production, event marketing, and all dollars you will invest in marketing and advertising. Break out media expenditures into columns (we look at months), sorted by media outlet (i.e radio stations, social media channels, streaming TV, YouTube, etc.).
- Start creating content. Not just for social media, but for everywhere your company or brand will be promoted. TV, OTT, YouTube, Google PPC, outdoor, social media ads, etc.. Creating good content takes time, so this is the time to start.
- Monitor and measure everything. Advertising and marketing is an investment in your business. Like every other smart business investment, you must quantify the return on that investment. It’s not a set it and forget it operation. You must continually monitor key metrics, and tweak as results pour in and patterns become apparent. We suggest linking all the media and the results they deliver to a marketing dashboard. Here, everything begins to make sense. You’ll be able to analyze all types of advertising on one screen. View OTT next to PPC, email marketing, even social media advertising. Measure everything, and analyze your advertising results continually, Look at things like the number of new customers that your ads brought in, the size of your average sale, and where your customers are coming from. Learn from this research and continually tweak your ad plan.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Set aside some time this week to work your way through these 7 steps and prepare your business for the new year. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I look forward to hearing your success story.