Let's say the wing-it approach isn't working. You've decided building a marketing strategy and tracking your progress will help you meet your business goals. But where do you start?
It takes more than a bulleted list of talking points and an eye-catching logo to build brand recognition for your company, according to Marketing Land. The ideal first step is to think about the process as a whole. Sure, it's enticing to jump into creating messaging, but let's lay the groundwork for success first.
Identifying Your Basic Marketing Needs
There's no reason to launch a creative campaign before you've defined your goals, explored your resources and accepted the amount and type of work you can realistically manage.
1. What are your goals?
You want more sales, more recognition and to become the brand that rolls off the tips of tongues everywhere. But dig deeper. Have you identified factors that can be measured and evaluated over time?
HubSpot reminded us that setting S.M.A.R.T. goals transforms good intentions to real results. The basic premise is to set goals that are "Specific" to the area you want to improve (page views on social, sales of a new service, etc.), "Measurable" with the help of analytics and data, "Attainable" based on historical trends, "Relevant" to your business objectives and "Time-bound" with deadlines.
2. How much time can you invest?
Speaking of time, how much can you devote to building a marketing strategy and tracking performance? Can you block out two hours every afternoon? Set up a schedule with deadlines, then stick to them.
Managing your time well hinges on organizational processes, according to Digital Journal. Making a list of specific tasks to tackle keeps you focused and moving forward. Use a timer or digital calendar notifications to keep you on track.
3. Do you have a financial budget?
Finances not only fund the physical pieces of this puzzle, like building a website, managing social media or creating content, but also directly relate to staffing. Do you have people on the payroll who can do these tasks? Do they have time?
The financial experts at Fundera recommend looking at your annual budget and sales projections for the year ahead before carving out money to develop a marketing strategy and ongoing marketing efforts. The good news? Effective marketing generates sales, and your budget will increase year over year.
4. Should you hire someone to help?
Don't do this alone. From setting goals to crunching numbers inside the business, it's best to form a team if you don't have a full-fledged marketing staff at your office. Start by looping in people from accounting and sales as well as a lead decision maker.
Ask for input on items they can best address on your task list. If your business is in start-up mode, or has a very small staff, consider looking to marketing experts to help guide your efforts. You'll save time, money and headaches by having pros nurture this process.