Beginning a new year always seems to feel refreshing. It’s a time of reflection and resolutions. It can also be a time of nervousness and fear – especially if you aren’t sure how to get your business to the next level (or off the ground floor), and how your marketing fits into the grand scheme of things. Start with these five straight forward tips:
1) Conduct a marketing audit
Set aside some time when you can lock the office door, turn off your cell phone, log out of your email and social networks, and take a look at your marketing expenses over the last year. Assess your budget(please tell me you have one). What methods gave you the best return on investment and were in line with your company objectives? What methods fell short? How are you determining that success or failure? Is it opinion or is it measurable? Which brings me to –
2) Establish goals and objectives that you can measure
Tweak and redefine your marketing so that you have clear definitions of success and concrete methods of measuring that success. Whether it be training staff to ask specific questions, analyzing metrics, or even conducting customer surveys.
3) Simplify your message and sharpen your niche
In business, it’s easy to attempt to be all things to all people. It’s appealing to think this will result in and endless stream of paying customers, when in reality your potential customers just end up confused. Try describing exactly what you do in one sentence that identifies your product/service and your potential customer. Examples: “We offer upscale spa services to working women who want to feel rejuvenated and regain their edge in the office.” “We specialize in eclectic home remodeling and interior design for first time home buyers that want to their homes to reflect their personality.” Speaking of personality…
4) Take a close look at your collateral and content
Is the content on your website the same as when it was built…in 1995? There’s no shame in admitting it is, but that means it’s time for a serious content and collateral assessment. Make sure your sales kits, brochures, catalogs, etc. reflect your most current product and service offerings. Refresh the copy on your website to be more engaging and up-to-date. Take an honest look at your logo and make sure your business cards stand out. If you’re not sure…
5) Don’t be afraid to ask your customers and clients directly
It’s straightforward and will usually get you a sincere response. Don’t be afraid to say “I really appreciate your repeat business, may I ask you if there’s anything else we can do to enhance your experience?” “Thank you so much for stopping in today, may I ask how did you hear about us?” Even a short survey online is a good way to gauge your customers’ experiences and see what areas you could improve upon. You could even find out something your customers are looking for, that you’re currently not offering, and implement it. *Hint – you could even ask some professionals, like me.
We’ll continue to build upon these in the upcoming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns in any of these areas, please don’t hesitate to contact me!