New Year, New Marketing Strategy
New year new …everything! No matter where you turn in the first few weeks of January you can’t avoid the blogs, videos, TV programmes and magazine articles all promising to help you to transform your life, health, figure, and diet.
It makes sense because the start of a new year lends itself well to looking forward to the year ahead with a sense of optimism and wanting to do things differently. It’s a natural starting point, to leave old patterns, behaviour and habits and embrace a new way to do things. And the same can be true for your business and your marketing strategy.
A Fresh Start
Tackling the year ahead as a fresh start means that you can plan to achieve all the things you wanted to do but never got around to doing. Think of the new year as an opportunity to detox your business and develop an effective marketing strategy.
Being a small business owner is hard. You end up wearing a lot of different hats, many at the same time, as well as learning new skills and finding the time to do your business. Many small business owners end up with a very long to-do list that never quite gets done.
And if marketing your business isn’t something you have a lot of experience doing or feel confident doing, then it can easily slip down your ‘to-do’ list. This can seriously impact on your ability to grow your business in the long-term.
Anything of the year is an ideal time to plan your marketing ahead. However, January is ideal because you’re likely to be in that new year new everything frame of mind. But remember, you can begin this new strategic approach to marketing your business at any time of the year.
What Is a Marketing Strategy?
A strategy, of any kind, is a guide or plan that helps you make decisions to make to make things work better. When you apply this to marketing it gives you a plan for what you want to achieve for your business. By taking time out now to consider what you want to achieve for the year ahead and what steps you need to take to achieve these objectives, means that you have a roadmap that can save you time overall.
These are the main things to consider when developing your own marketing strategy:
- Who are your ideal customers? The more detail you can provide to this answer the better.
- What do they need that you can provide? What pain points are you able to alleviate for them?
- Why should they consider using your business over any of your competitors? Be honest with yourself when answering this question. If you can’t answer it, then it’s important to spend time working on this question before you move on.
- Who are your main competitors? Research this now as there may be new businesses offering the same or similar products or services to yours that you might not be aware of.
- What do you offer or do better than your competitors? Do your customers know that you do these types of differences?
- How are you making people aware of these differences? What platforms are you currently using to get your message out to your customers?
- What marketing efforts have you undertaken recently? List all (or any) of the marketing activities you have done and how frequently you have done them.
- What worked best? Did you get any sales or leads as a direct result of these activities?
- How do you measure the success of your marketing efforts? Do you use analytics or other methods to monitor what works or not?
- How would your ideal customers find out about you? Do they have to work hard to find you and to know what you do? Be honest!
- What social media channels do your ideal customers use? Are you active on these channels? How frequently do you post on social media? If you haven’t posted anything for a few weeks or months it could make people think that you’re no longer in business!
Clear Strategic Focus and Direction
These questions will give your marketing efforts some focus and a clear direction. By answering these questions, and being honest and thorough, you will know who you need to reach, what you want to tell people, what channels or platforms you need to be active on. It will also tell you what has worked for you before so that you can repeat it or avoid it if it hasn’t worked.
From here you can develop a marketing plan which makes your marketing even more focused and organised.
If after developing your marketing strategy you think “I don’t have the time, interest, or skills to execute this marketing strategy”, you might find it helpful to read our earlier blog post about getting the most from your time. This can help you to work out if it’s better value and a better solution for you to outsource your marketing activities in the long-run.