by Owen Williams
It's that time of year again, where we all draw breath and reflect on the past twelve months of marketing activity.
Our hectic calendars seldom give us the opportunity to sit back and look at our businesses and that’s why it’s so important to take this chance to review your marketing objectives for the coming year. After all, a proactive approach to marketing and brand development is proven to bring results. So here are a few points to help you evaluate your existing marketing position and perhaps identify some of the areas that you’d like to improve going forward. Who knows, you might uncover a few bad habits and make a couple of new year’s resolutions along the way!
What do people actually think of your brand?
When was the last time you actually listened to what people are saying about your business? What are people saying about you on your Facebook page? Do you have positive reviews on Google +? What do your customers think of your service and have you given them an opportunity to voice their opinion? You would be surprised how many businesses have no listening and response program in place for their social media channels, often leaving both positive and negative feedback without a response. Negative perceptions can spread quickly if left unchecked and opportunities to capitalise on positive comments can be missed if you don’t have the right planning and strategy in place to monitor and engage with your online community. Customers are hugely influenced by other customers, so encouraging them to say the right thing is very important. But just as important is demonstrating that you respect peoples’ opinions and are prepared to acknowledge them. Brand loyalty is earned through quality engagement. So think about how you can gather those reviews, testimonials and social comments and learn about the outside perception of your brand and service. Give customers a platform to communicate with you and other customers and watch your community grow.
Where do most of your leads come from?
Which marketing activity has proved to be the most successful in bringing in new business? What medium did you use and can you focus more resource on it? Many companies fail to put the correct metrics in place to accurately evaluate the performance of their marketing and identify what is truly working for them. Installing Google Analytics and setting up goals to monitor the behaviour of users on your website can help you analyse performance and identify areas for improvement to layout and user experience. If you’re using Adwords, are you managing it effectively to ensure that you’re getting maximum return on your investment? If it isn’t yielding the results that you were hoping for then there might be something wrong with your campaign. Without proper monitoring you are likely to be burning through your budget and not achieving the results that you could be. Engage a specialist agency to help you gain the best possible returns. Give yourself the tools to evaluate performance, then you can replicate and build on your successful activities.
Tailor your marketing
A common mistake is to take a blanket approach to marketing. Who is your core target audience? Who do you want to target? How do you make your message heard by the right people? Well it’s all about tailoring your content and marketing to their needs and motivations. Take some time to develop your ideal customer profiles and build a content marketing strategy around them. Think about the types of content and brands that they engage with and where they are most likely to see your messaging? This will influence your social media activity, media buying and brand positioning. The more targeted your marketing, the higher the chance of it producing good returns. So if you’re thinking of targeting a new client, sector or demographic in 2018, think about tailoring your marketing activities.
Find your voice
The way you go about your business is as important as what you do. Brand culture is a huge factor in the buying decision of many companies and customers. Are they excited by the prospect of working with you? Do you have a clear tone of voice running through your sales material? A consistent style of communication can make your brand stand out from the competition and project a professional image. Your individual brand style should be used across all of your marketing material and content, so make sure it’s something that you’re comfortable with. Whether it’s your website and social media accounts, or pitch presentations and quote documents, the culture of your brand should be loud and proud. A well-defined brand culture and personality will help carve out your position in the market. How are you currently perceived in the industry? Are you happy with that position, or do you want to break new ground? Your brand underpins all of your marketing so make sure you have a clear, consistent voice that people recognise and trust.
Whatever your goals for the new year, be sure that they are well planned out and measurable. If you’re looking for help with your marketing, then feel free to contact us at email@example.com