If your organisation wants to improve its marketing for 2018, then you need to start putting things in place now.
We’re all at different stages of our marketing journey. However, wherever you are, I’d advise you take time now to do these three things:
1.Review the past year.
Every journey to improve your marketing begins with a review; determine your marketing successes and where you could do better. Look at your marketing tactics and your marketing strategy – it could be both need a refresh. Are you heading in the wrong direction selling the wrong products to the wrong markets? Or is it that your tactics to reach your customers are wrong? Make sure you know which it is.
- I enjoy doing Watertight Marketing Touchpoint Leak Assessments for my clients at this time of the year as they provide a structured, objective approach and result in a prioritised Action Plan. It shows them where they are leaking profit out of their marketing and gives them a plan of action to plug those leaks. Download my Touchpoint Leaks Assessment – Product Sheet to find out if this is right for your business.
- If you don’t have the time or budget for this then do your own online assessment of your marketing leaks for £95 + VAT. It only takes 90 minutes and you get a report about your top 3 leaks.
- My blog, “Is your marketing built on strong foundations?” is also a good starting point to assess your overall marketing capabilities.
2.Determine your marketing resource for 2018.
Reflect on your business goals for 2018; what marketing resource do you need in place to deliver them? What do you already have in place and what do you need to bring in? Remember resource includes systems, knowledge and skills so it could include software, agencies, training. If you want your marketing to hit the ground running on the 1 Jan, you need to have the right resource in place now.
These are some useful blogs to help you think about the type of marketing skills gaps you have in your organisation.
3.Update your tactical marketing plan.
Be ready to start 2018 knowing what tactical marketing needs to be done and when. Then use any quiet time over the Christmas period to “get ahead”. This could be playing with your new CRM, doing some online training, or writing some blogs.
Your Tactical Marketing Plan should have a relevant marketing activity in place for every step of your customers’ Buying Journey (see diagram, which shows the customer Buying Journey with the 13 Watertight Marketing Touchpoint Leaks).
It might be time to add new things to the mix or refresh current marketing activities. If you’ve done a Watertight Marketing Touchpoint Leaks Assessment then this will show you where your priorities lie.
- If you need some new marketing ideas, then download Bryony Thomas’s free A to Z Content Guide. Bursting with over 140 content ideas, it will stimulate your company’s creative buds.
- I find that attending events such as Watertight Marketing Lunch and Learns (available around the UK) or Watertight Marketing webinars (available via Members Plus) are a good way to keep my tactical marketing ideas fresh and interesting. Click here to see if a Lunch and Learn is happening near you.
- I can also run a one day planning workshop with you, where we blitz your marketing ideas and I give you the tools to build a tactical marketing plan together – this only works effectively if you’ve done a marketing review first, though. Contact me to find out if your business is ready for this.
2018…bring it on!
Taking time now to reflect and plan means you can look at 2018 with calm, confident control knowing that you’re all set to step up your company’s marketing.
If you need an external, objective view as you look back, do get in touch – I can help. If you want someone to cut through the clutter and help you develop a realistic marketing plan for 2018, let me know – I can help.
I also run practical and useful events as well as speak at different networking groups. Do join me at one or all of them. Details are on my events page.
Let’s make 2018 a better marketing year for all of us.
Kara Stanford is an award-winning Strategic Marketing consultant bringing marketing clarity and calm to businesses.
Do get in touch and contact her.