A diminished bowl of leftover Halloween candy, Tom Turkey lurking in the distance and Christmas trees sprouting in the aisles of the mall define this lag-time between Hallow’s Eve and New Years Day. bWyse thinks of this lag-time as the dawn of a New Year, a time to think about your business and the sense of renewal that January 1st holds.
The upcoming year proves to be a challenging one to say the least. As you reflect on the successes of this past year … we challenge you to think about specific areas in your business where you can bolster strength and leverage revenue. Of course we’re talking about your marketing plans!
First Things First … Plan for Marketing
Before you hit the refresh key on your business plan it’s time to think about the elements of your business plan that require time, attention and innovation. We recommend beginning with your marketing plan. What follows is a list of ideas, techniques and strategies to consider folding into your marketing plans for the upcoming year.
1. Focus on Your Existing Customers
Consider the current service and support provided to your customers. How can you add value to your service and support without adding to your costs, or needing to charge more? It is increasingly more important to continue to extend your service and support to your existing clients. The competition is out there … thinking about these very same issues. Don’t encourage your existing customers to be tempted by the competition. Create long lasting loyalty through the continuous offering of increased value through your service and support.
2. Identify Waste in Your Existing Plans
Consider the metrics and measurement of your 2008 marketing plan by reviewing what worked and what didn’t work. Recognize those efforts that produced minimal results and either rework them for success or eliminate them from this year’s plan. My mother tells a terrific joke about a lady who always cut off the end of the ham and through it away, prior to baking the rest of the ham. Her husband once asked her why she did that . . . and she replied, “That’s how my mother cooked ham.” Being a smart guy, he left well enough alone, until the next family- get- together. The husband took the opportunity to ask his mother-in-law, why she taught the daughter to throw out the end of the ham. Much to his chagrin the mother-in-law answered that the pan she used to bake the ham was small, and the whole ham didn’t fit in the pan. Needless to say, the morale of the story, is make sure you know WHY you are pursuing your marketing efforts … and eliminate those that are wasteful and don’t produce desired results.
3. The Power of Positive Thinking
Take some extra time to think about what is happening outside of your immediate world. When an ad salesman walks into a GM franchise to sell a newspaper ad she had better walk through the showroom doors armed with some good news, such as information about GM’s progress on the hydrogen fuel cell, instead of sagging SUV sales. Be the positive force you seek from others. It’s amazing how contagious a positive attitude can be!
4. Review and Improve Your Internet Marketing Efforts
Internet Marketing is a great way to increase your cash flow and client base, especially during challenging times. Re-visit your website from an objective perspective and determine which Internet Marketing efforts may be worthy additions. A comprehensive mix of Internet Marketing techniques may potentially accelerate your business – while improving your ability to compete in the marketplace.
There are several top Internet Marketing techniques to consider. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the use of Pay Per Click campaigns. Using this technique you pay for website placement on search engine results pages. If your goals include lead generation, direct online sales and driving more traffic to your website, the SEM is a terrific strategy to employ. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is another ever increasingly important strategy. Social media enables users to easily participate in, and actively contribute to your internet community. The distinct advantage that social media has over traditional forms of media is that it is dynamic, flexible and fast. Additionally, this form of marketing is easily shared, achieved and most importantly indexed by search engines. Social Media Marketing includes strategies such as Podcasting, Blogs and Videos.
So, we’ve provided a lot of food for thought regarding your 2009 Marketing Plan. The more challenging the marketplace becomes the more creative and innovative you and your company need to become. Applying these strategies will assist you in identifying opportunities to position your company for growth and success during the coming year. So, get started today . . . begin building a plan that will be ready for implementation, just as soon as January 1st rolls around.