While only the second week of December I wanted to make sure everyone got this New Year’s marketing resolution before things got quiet around the holidays.
I think all businesses should resolve to increase their marketing effectiveness – as measured by sales or leads – by 5% – 10% without increasing your marketing spend.
Sound like an impossible resolution? It is not as hard as it seems. The key – audit your brand position, your competition and your marketing.
Your brand – is it still relevant to your customer wants and needs? How can it be modified to be more compelling and relatable?
Your Competition – What changes have they made in the past year? Have they become more or less relevant to your audience? Are any of the verge of going out of business?
Your Marketing – Does it best reflect your brand? Is it consistent? Is it competitive?
But don’t look at just your collateral, website and ads.
Audit all of your marketing; your invoices, email signatures, phone conversations, voicemail messages, reports anything that touches your audience. You’d be surprised what small improvements in any of these areas will do to improve your bottom line.
For example, if your company is known for operational efficiency, are prospects on hold longer than a minute when they call?
If your company prides itself on being on the leading edge of technology, do customers see PCs that are more than two years old when they come to your office?
All of these items are marketing and slight adjustments can garner positive results.
If you can, use an objective party – not necessarily yourself, your ad agency or PR firm – to audit your marketing. Use someone like a trusted advisor or another third party who does not have a vested interest in the work they have done or benefit from creating new work.
I bet you’ll find at least five places that could be improved which, in turn, will help you keep your new marketing resolution.
2009 is going to be a tough year, but you can mitigate it by making sure you market smarter.