What results are you getting from your marketing? You should be able to tell if the payoff from your marketing campaigns justify the investments you have made. Even if you can’t find it in dollar figures, look for other real results such as the number of new leads, new customers, or mentions of your business in the press. Once you’ve quantified your results, compare them against your investment of time and money to determine if they are worthwhile. The year’s end is a great time to review your marketing plan and see how effective it has been and what you can change going forward. A marketing checkup is a smart tool to help you position your business for growth in the coming year. To evaluate your footing for the upcoming year, check these areas of your marketing playbook.
Look at all your marketing materials, from logo, business cards and brochures, to your website, with a critical eye. Are they outdated? Are they serving their purpose? Do they no longer reflect where your company is today? Maybe it’s time for a makeover. Industry newsletters, publications and websites are always touting the top trends for the upcoming year. Study your industry news and forecasts carefully to see how trends may affect the way you market your business next year and what markets you may want to target. (And remember, Wise can help with all of your graphic design needs, and even offers e-learning resources on multiple marketing topics.)
Do you have the right employees to get the most from your marketing strategies? Are they trained in the correct skills to be prepared for the new year? Is your office equipment up to the task and technologically advanced enough to perform at the level that you expect? Often the best way to find out is simply to ask. These days, there are lots of places to find free or low-cost training in the form of webinars, seminars, and online courses. Start with your industry association. Marketing is changing rapidly, and your team needs to adapt, so take the time to invest in their education.
Your existing customers are a great source of repeat business. Make sure your e-mail lists are up to date, allowing you to stay in touch. Consider asking customers for referrals, reviews and testimonials. Offering rewards for anyone who brings you new customers is a great way to motivate referrals. Customers can also help you develop your marketing strategy by telling you what they do and don’t like. If you’re in doubt about any aspect of your company’s message, a customer survey can help guide your decisions. Check online, and you’ll find lots of free survey tools that are easy to use. Or do a simple survey using Facebook or Twitter.
Evaluating your past year’s performance and making critical adjustments for the future are all a part of running a successful business. Knowing which areas are the important ones to check up on is not always clear. Make sure to fine-tune your marketing strategies throughout the next year, and you might find that at the end of year, you don’t need to change a thing.