The key to marketing success is planning and consistency. In general, business owners are enthusiastic about marketing, but it's often coupled with urgency and no plan. Marketing enthusism without a plan can put any business at risk and annually thousands of dollars are spent on marketing that doesn't deliver results.
Five safeguards to help avoid common marketing mistakes:
Know your position: Knowledge is power. Make a list of all the marketing activities done for the past six months. Decide what worked well and why it worked well. Do the same for all the activities that didn't work well. Outline realistic results for each marketing activity and use it as criteria to judge future marketing performance. With this knowledge, education decisions can be made and you won't be caught off guard by the latest trends.
Have a budget: Having a marketing budget doesn't limit you, it empowers you. A budget will help you develop a strategy that works best for your business without breaking the bank. Knowing how much to spend on marketing, and staying within that budget, gives business owners peace of mind, lowers stress levels and will keep the business on track.
Be knowledgeable about your target market: Know who your target market is, what its needs are and where you can find it. Know which media outlets your target market uses, both online and offline. Understand where and how they search for businesses like yours. Know their needs and know how to present your marketing message in a way that will make them take action.
Review your marketing plan every three months: Business owners who plan their marketing will achieve better results through a 90-day marketing plan. This plan encourages you to sit down and review your marketing in a formal manner every three months. Reviewing the marketing plan with your team will help you be more diligent about where you spend your marketing dollars and help you keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Be consistent: Every marketing strategy has several key components that need to be executed successfully. Although is a simple and logical concept, it seems to be human nature to get side tracked in the execution of our strategies. We forget our aim and lose our direction. Stay consistent and on track in 2013 by writing down your plan and using it as a blueprint for all your marketing. Schedule time on a weekly basis to work on your marketing, use deadlines and combat procrastination. Small steps every day wins the game, and marketing success is simply a collection of small steps.
Make a decision this year to only spend time on productive activities that will move you closer to your goals.