Marketing is an important way to communicate through your audience in a better way. And, because the ability to sell and create brand awareness has never been more robust that it is right now – this doesn’t seem like the best of the times to do that. Brands and marketers alike face the bigger challenge of capturing the consumer’s attention without breaking the marketing budget.
The best way to start the year off right is to gather your sales and marketing team together. Make a series of sessions to get everyone aligned and headed in the same direction. Undertake a thorough assessment of current activities. This typically includes a SWOT Analysis for a snapshot of the state of existing efforts.
Make a careful curated list of measurable goals based on the assessment performed previously. This data helps to inform the organization of audience attitudes and behaviors. Create strategies based directly on the findings of the assessment—good and bad. It also lays the groundwork for later decision-making and re-evaluation, if needed.
Lay out the marketing tactics that will best help the organization execute all these. All tactics should support the strategic marketing plan – discard those that don’t meet the criteria. Invest wisely when determining budget allocation. Take into consideration the successes and challenges identified during the assessment.
Marketing can take a heck of a long time to turn around. So to speed up things is probably identifying the things that slows down the process. Make swift, firm, decisions and provide the information requested when asked. Be equipped with the right questions to ask – which will help in being prepared for an initial conversation about marketing.
Here’s how you can prepare and finalize your marketing plan for the coming year 2017 :
Convenience In Online Transactions
People will buy from Instagram shops and they will also buy from the comfort of their homes. Shoppers are shoppers, and they’ll still come out to stores. In 2017, maximize product sales and fend off the competition by being more than just a Google advertiser. Cater to the way consumers want to buy because 2017 will be about making customers feel comfortable about your purchasing your product/service, however they prefer.
Take a look at your website and social media channels to make sure they’re designed to attract and educate your persona. How well is your branding and messaging, how well are your engaging with your audience and is your audience right? Is your sales process set up to close the quality and quantity of customers you need to reach your company’s growth goals? Is your CRM system set up to support your process efficiently and effectively? Could you be using any automated tools to make your process more efficient?
Document any issues you uncover while you’re reviewing your collateral, processes, and templates. Look for areas of your process where prospects or customers get lost or ignored due to lack of time/energy/resources. Prioritize the issues you’ve identified and develop a phased approach to tackle them.
Traditional Marketing Is Still Here
Yes, everything is online today and in the coming years there will just be an “app” or that sorta thing for everything. But traditional advertising is still here to stay – especially television sets. It’s still the most widely reached form of promoting your business. Millennials are changing buying behavior and that necessarily influences how we market. But millennials alone aren’t powerful enough to break old habits.
That’s because they trust these media, and they’ve created habits around each. They seek credibility, and therefore, Facebook or Instagram post won’t hamper their comfort levels. When you Google a product – you get many results, each offering a better deal. Credibility is how a brand thrives. In 2017, look to use TV as a credibility driver for direct sales, online traffic and retail engagement.
Also make sure that your printed and digital marketing materials are written and designed to attract your ideal customers and communicate your company’s unique qualities to prospects and customers. Verify that copyright dates are updated, that your style guidelines are being followed, and that everyone on your sales team is using the right version.
Focus On Customer Value
Look back at your best customers and identify the characteristics that make them profitable and enjoyable to work with. Make sure your ideal customer profile and buyer personas are accurate. Update them as necessary to reflect the kinds of customers who will help you reach your growth goals.
Once your personas are updated, document the journey each persona will take toward becoming a customer. Your contacts take lots of tiny steps along the way to becoming a buyer. Plot out every interaction point your personas will have with your content or your company. Start at the end—what will they do immediately before signing a contract with you? At each point along the way, identify the persona’s main questions, motivations, and potential objections. Then identify the kinds of content you’ll need to create to meet them at each point along the buyer’s journey.
Status Of The Influencers
Don’t forget about your influencers. Feed your main contact the content they need to help educate and sell you internally. You should also determine what CTAs to include in order to lead them to the next step. Make sure you’re clear on what makes you different from your competitors. Talk to some of your customers and find out why they chose to buy from you—and what could make them switch teams.
If you’re launching a new product or service, think about where a buying community exists. Who are the major influencers? Don’t pay for tweets. Cut through the clutter by attaching your product to celebrities and voices that speak to controlled communities.
Make sure you have defined metrics for measuring success, and have assigned individual team members to be accountable for solving each issue. Learn from your mistakes and victories, and evolve your tactics as needed to maintain your traction.