Get started with a Marketing Reboot for 2014 – Part 1
By Nial Adams
Your Marketing Reboot Plan for 2014
Here’s my plan for the next four weeks to give your marketing a kick up the backside. Read Part 1 today and get started.
It’s January, it’s a new year and that means you’ve got every reason to grab your marketing by the scruff of the neck and make it work even harder for you over the next twelve months.
So perhaps you’ve noticed that over the past couple of years that your traditional approach to marketing has been producing diminishing returns?
It may not be that you’re actually using only the traditional methods like print and direct mail, it could be that you’re using a mix of available channels.
And yet, you’ve seen marketing getting more costly and giving back smaller returns.
Of course you may not have been doing much with your marketing at all.
And it could be that you are like a lot of other people, who have simply found that good name recognition and good position in your marketplace has been all you’ve really needed… until now.
Your business, just like anything in life, is either in the process of growing and developing, or it’s declining and diminishing.
The engine that will drive your enterprise forward in the year ahead is your marketing. I firmly believe this.
How? Well because I have seen lots of evidence that proves good marketing grows businesses. Here’s just one example.
A client I’ve been working with in 2013 has seen sales increase by over 27% in the past six months. They’ve not changed products (although they have added some new ones), nor have they really changed the format of the business. And they have certainly not employed any new sales people.
So what have they done?
They have put their focus on how to reactivate existing customers and harvest new ones. They’ve invested time and resources in their marketing.
It’s not rocket science (and I promised never to use that cliché), it’s just a case of putting the focus where it needed to be. Winning new customers isn’t always easy, so when you’ve got them you need to think about how you can keep them and increase the value in the relationship with your customers.
In the same way, developing new ways to find the right audience all starts with the right focus. Understand what your ideal customer wants and build a service-led business to help them buy it from you.
In other words… start at the beginning.
Way too much time, effort and nonsense spent on marketing is a result of jumping about from one idea to another, trying this, or trying that. Or being sold marketing ideas that will ‘be the end to all your marketing troubles’. Yeah, right!
So for the next four weeks I’m going to suggest some really simple tasks that you can apply, right away, to get your marketing on track. You can give it a reboot, if you feel it needs it and you want to start growing your sales.
If you’re just starting out in marketing then this Quickstart Plan will help you get the basics in place first. The we can move on to the more technical ideas and methods when you’re ready.
Marketing Reboot – Week 1.
TASK #1. Track Everything…
This is foundation principle that all marketing rests on. If you are going to spend any time, money or other resource on your marketing you MUST make sure you put in a method of tracking it.
You’d be totally amazed how many companies I’ve worked with over the years who have admitted that they don’t really track what happens with their marketing activity. The make the fatal assumption that it will either result in more sales, or it won’t and that this is all that matters.
Of course, as I have said many times before, marketing is all about the end result you get and everything else is just ego. But sales are not the only result you need to be keeping your eyes on.
Your marketing, when set up properly and managed, is a great barometer for your business. It can tell you a great deal about what’s really going on and how you need to direct your business.
This is achieved through tracking. As my own mentor used to say “If it moves track it, if it doesn’t move still track it, just in case it moves!”.
Tracking is simply monitoring and there are a number of ways you can do this. I share a few simple ones with you in a moment. The other important thing to realise is that you don’t need to learn much in order to do this. You just need to be aware of the details you should be keeping an eye on, and then do just that on a regular basis.
You can set up a method of tracking that is simple for you to use, and do this in any way you like. If you want to keep it really simple and ‘analogue’ just get yourself a lined or ruled notebook and start labeling your pages. Dates, actions, budget spent, response, reactions, enquiries, sales, etc. These are all the factors that you need to be getting some data on.
Learn why these numbers are important; you simply can’t expect your marketing to work fully until you do.
With this you can then start to build up a picture of what works and what doesn’t. You’ll quickly see where you need to be spending your time and money. You will also see what marketing ideas are firing blanks and need to be improved or fired.
Naturally I’d actually recommend that you do this in a slightly more organised and efficient way. A simple set of spreadsheets can work well. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Excel or another similar software programme, then start building some sheets for you to record things.
Building your tracking up with digital resources like spreadsheets is the first big step. Now you’ve got a way of not only recording things but sharing and comparing that data.
The aim is to build a method of marketing tracking that is simple and quick enough for you to manage on a frequent basis. Depending upon your type of business you may want to record this daily, weekly or monthly.
The MOST important part about this is not so much to do with how you record and track results, it’s that you ALWAYS remember to do this. You need to be disciplined and consistent.
If your data is going to be worth anything then you need to ensure that you’re keep those records up to date and accurate. And trust me, it’s an investment in time and effort that can be well repaid.
The good news; it’s never been easier or quicker to do this. In the past ten years I’ve seen massive leaps in the technology that drives marketing today. From bespoke software systems to online, cloud systems that do it all for you.
Tasks that would have been heavily manual only a few years ago are being replaced with online systems that give you instant data in real-time. And gathering that information is often either free or included in the cost of the marketing spend.
The best way to get started with this task is to start at the goal and work back, let me explain:
Let’s assume that you have a budget in mind and this is where you want to start. If you’re goal is to spend £X on a marketing campaign for a month then you need to work out how much you should be generating in sales to make this a profitable activity.
KEY POINT: yes, some people do still think that if they ‘make their money back’ then a campaign has been worthwhile. Wrong, it’s been a waste of your time. Campaigns should always aim to be profitable, or at least be part of a plan for profit.
Remember; marketing is not about gambling with your profits or investment, it’s about building valuable connections. Failing to understand this is one of the most common marketing mistakes.
Now you know what you’re aiming for you can work back from this…
How will you know if the new sale has come directly from that marketing activity? How can you be sure? Has it been influenced by other factors?
Your aim is to get clear evidence of cause and effect in your marketing. So stop and think about ways you can track this. It could be through using voucher codes, dedicated telephone numbers, specific landing pages on your website.
After a few more steps in the process you should be able to sketch out a simple pathway for tracking your marketing results. And when you know what a new customer is worth to you, and you know what your marketing costs were, you can see if you’re making money, or not.
- Start with the end in mind; set your budget and stick to it
- Choose the easiest and most efficient way of accurately recording your results
- Make sure that every marketing output can be tracked and measured
- Record your results frequently and consistently
- Compare and contrast the data you get back and discover what is really working
- Make changes, test new ideas and improve your marketing
- Rinse and repeat!
This may all seem pretty straightforward and obvious to you, so obvious that you may not have thought about doing it. Or perhaps you’re making an attempt at it but not giving it enough of your attention?
So in this next week set some time aside, purely to focus on marketing. Think about all the things you do (or plan to do in the coming month or two) and set out a way of recording what happens.
The most important thing now, is to get started!Even if you don’t entirely understand what the data may tell you, that’s not the most important thing at this stage.
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