Whether it feels like it in your part of the world or not, spring is here, and it’s time to refresh and renew. That applies to your marketing plan, too. It’s time to check under the rug and wash your windows, so to speak. Get out your business plan, head to the marketing strategy and take a good look. What’s working, and what isn’t? If you’ve been tracking the results of all your marketing efforts, whether you’re using online analytics, or simply asking visitors to your business how they heard about you. Based on the information you’ve gathered, assess which marketing methods are getting the best results, and which are not doing so well, and which ones are tapering off in effectiveness.
Marketing methods can become ineffective for many reasons. Maybe you’re not promoting your message often enough. Sometimes a smaller ad or shorter radio spot that runs more often will stick in viewers’ or listeners’ minds more than a bigger ad that runs infrequently. Try spending the same amount of money on more frequent, smaller ads.
Are you promoting your message in the right places? If you notice you’re not getting the response you used to from a certain marketing venue, it may be time to cut back or stop using that channel.
Make sure you are promoting your message to the right people. Customers change, move away or grow up. The target demographic for your regular advertising outlets may be different than when you started advertising there. Regularly check with your advertising outlets to learn the makeup of their audience.
Do your ads, radio spots or marketing pieces look outdated? Is your unique selling incentives or offers clear? Styles change quickly, both in terms of design and style. Ask friends and colleagues to give you honest feedback about whether it’s time to update your marketing. One smart way to make sure your marketing plan is fresh is simply to take a look at what your competitors are doing. You’re certainly not going to copy their marketing tactics, but if they’re advertising in a certain place, or using a certain method, maybe you should be, too. They could be getting great results from a tactic you’re not even trying. It’s most important to stay up-to-date on marketing trends in your industry. Read your industry’s trade publications, and attend its conferences and seminars, to keep up with the marketing methods that are working the best for other entrepreneurs in your field.
Staying in touch with your customer base, getting regular feedback on how you’re doing, and knowing what your customers are most concerned about are the keys to keeping your marketing strategy — and your business plan — fresh. Knowing this information will make it easier to tailor your marketing campaign and choose the right outlets and tactics.