Implement these marketing tips into your overall business strategy in 2018 for a successful year
The festive cheer from the holiday season is now well and truly a thing of the past. In the 2nd week of January, there’s no better time than now to get back to work and do what you do best, focus on your business.
Now that you’re (hopefully) feeling refreshed after a well-deserved break, how about a refresher on the key steps to take to be on top of your marketing and kick-start a successful 2018 for your business? Here are the top 7 marketing tips to get you on your way.
Revisit Your Vision
A vision is like setting a destination for your business in Google Maps. How relevant is your vision today from when you first developed it? Take some time to reassess the validity of your vision. Is this still achievable in light of any changes that may have impacted your business in the past year? Having a clear vision of your business’s desired future is critical and sets the tone for all your marketing efforts throughout the year. Ask yourself if there is still an alignment between where your business has been and where it wants to go.
Review Your Marketing Objectives
If you’re anything like me, as the clock etches closer and closer to midnight on December 31st, it’s a time for reflection and undeniably, setting personal New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it’s spending more time with family and friends, working smarter, learning a new language, a resolution has the power to give you that extra oomph going into the New Year. Ok so you may struggle to recall the last time you actually followed through with a New Year’s Resolution, but the intention is there to, in some way, be a better you or achieve a personal goal by the time the coming year draws to a close.
In a similar fashion, why not ring in the New Year by setting resolutions not only for yourself, but for your business too?
Let's refer to New Year’s Resolutions as “objectives.” Unlike your personal New Year’s Resolutions which can sometimes be unrealistic making them almost impossible to achieve, when setting objectives for this New Year, make sure that they are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Setting SMART objectives means that you can hold yourself and everyone in your business accountable to achieving them.
Setting SMART objectives for your business allows you to be one step closer to achieving them
Take a moment to reflect on the year that was. Which activities and initiatives worked especially well and which, not so well? When reviewing your marketing strategy at this point in 2018, you should look to which activities drove the greatest ROI for your business. This is a useful starting point for deciding on where to allocate time and monetary resources so that you can maximise your business’s marketing strategy.
When reviewing or setting new marketing objectives for the New Year, it’s best to align them with the goals and aspirations of your target audience. For instance, if your business operates in the food industry, a likely resolution for your target audience could be to be healthier in the New Year. Starting off the year with a marketing campaign promoting your calorie-rich burger may not be the best idea in this case. Be sure to understand the needs of your target audience and allow these to inform your marketing objectives and decisions throughout the year.
The beginning of the year is also a great time to ensure that everyone in your organisation is on the same page. Plan a meeting to discuss the year ahead and take this time to ensure that the objectives of the organisation align with your employees’ individual goals and that everyone is ready to achieve their targets this calendar or financial year.
Segment Segment Segment
Less is more. What do I mean by this? Consider this scenario. What is more financially desirable for your business; marketing to 80% of the population to receive a 20% return on your investment or, marketing to 20% of the population and yielding an 80% ROI? If you’ve answered the latter, you’re right! This is the basis of the Pareto Principle describing that “80% of profits come from 20% of customers.”
Why spend your precious marketing budget on those people who are simply not interested in your product or service offering? Instead, spend time to really home in on who your ideal customer is. Identify who values what you have to offer and target them with your marketing.
Don’t forget that in an age of personalisation, customers demand a remarkable customer experience and want to feel as though your marketing is talking directly to them. Suffice to say, marketing to the right customer with the wrong message can be the difference between them purchasing from you or clicking the unsubscribe button.
Now is the perfect time to review your marketing database. Use your CRM to segment your market and to develop personas of your ideal customers. Once you’ve done this, map out a customer journey for each persona so that you can market to them at each stage of their customer journey whilst continuing to nurture them. Remember, the recipe for success is to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Stay Ahead of The Digital Curve
Don’t just catch the digital wave, ride it and stay ahead of it. 2018 is going to be more about creating exceptional digital experiences than ever before. While you may not have a large enough budget to incorporate AI or VR technology into your digital marketing strategy, start with the absolute basics. Use mobile technology to connect and engage with your target audience.
Stay ahead of the digital wave to remain competitive
While we’re on the topic of digital, how are your company’s digital assets looking? Are you looking dated? Is it time for a website refresh perhaps? As everyone around you evolves in this digital age, so too should you. If the services you provide have changed in the past year, make sure this is reflected on your website. Today, your website is the front door to your business. Just as you wouldn’t physically stock an item that was passed its use by date, your website should be up-to-date and create a seamless UX for all your website visitors. Also take this opportunity to refresh any other content to decrease the bounce rate on your website.
Rejuvenate Your Content Marketing Strategy
I probably don’t need to remind you that in today’s information age, content is king. Long gone are the days when marketers would push out promotional material to anyone and everyone. By adopting an Inbound Marketing Methodology, you should be creating content that educates your target audience and talks to their goals and challenges at every stage of their customer journey.
Good quality content will also enable your business to rank higher for SEO in Google’s search results whilst allowing you to be perceived as the authority in a particular subject matter or space.
What’s the conversion rate on your current content? Which content performed well and which, not so well? This is the ideal time to perform a content audit and chalk out any key themes that are of value to your target audience. Take stock of your current content and think of ways you might be able to reformat existing work that performed well. Was there an eBook that outperformed other content? Why not reformat this into an engaging video? Analyse your data and create more of the content that drove a high ROI for your business last year. Creating a content calendar will also help you map out your work around any events and campaigns throughout the year.
Revitalise Your Social Media Strategy
“Almost eight in 10 Australians are now on social media, which is up 10 point on last year.” (Sensis). This statistic spells out the need to be online and on the digital platforms on which your target audience are active. Social media is a level playing field that both small and large organisations alike can take advantage of to interact with their target audience. SMEs in particular, can unlock the power of social media to market themselves at little to no cost.
Identify the social media platforms that have yielded the greatest engagement for your business. What social media topics see the highest number of likes, shares and retweets? Use this data as a guide for your future social media campaign ideas.
If you haven’t done so already, map out a social media calendar and schedule your posts in advance with the help of a social media scheduling tool like Hubspot or Hootsuite.
Review your existing social media data to generate ideas for upcoming campaigns
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Last, but certainly not the least, always be proactive, not reactive. Keep a close eye on your competition, identify gaps in the market where you can seize an opportunity and gain a competitive advantage.
Happy 2018! May this be your best marketing year yet!
Have you got a copy of our 10 Steps to a Killer Marketing Strategy? Here we outline the ten key elements in creating a great marketing strategy. Use it for reference as you plan out your strategy for the New Year.
10 Things to Consider for a Killer Marketing Strategy
- Get a clear direction on your business
- Determine where to spend your time and resources for the best ROI
- Build a plan that will connect you to your target audience fast and efficiently.
At Marketing Entourage, we work with a number of organisations to help them stay competitive and realise their vision. If you’d like to know more about our methodology and services, take a look at the relevant pages on our website or Contact Us for a free consultation and see how we can help transform the way you market your business.
by Meerah Tauqir
Written by Meerah Tauqir
Meerah is a marketing and account manager whose experience has come from working, both locally and internationally, for a combination of multinational corporates and boutique companies. Coupled with her commerce accounting and finance background, Meerah is equipped with a robust skills set that allows her to be both creative and analytical. Meerah enjoys staying on top of all things marketing and is particularly passionate about Marketing Communications, Brand Management and Digital Marketing.