Top 4 Ways to Get Your Marketing Plan Ready for 2012
We’re well into the holiday season, so refining and prepping your 2012 marketing strategy is already well overdue. But it’s not too late to do something about it if you haven’t already. And whether or not your printing company needs to rebrand as an MSP or is simply focusing on growing your business as-is, we’re sure your marketing campaign could use a refresher for the brand new year. Read on for four steps to preparing your marketing strategy for 2012.
Know What You’re After
First, brainstorm what your business needs to thrive in the coming year. Maybe you’re not taking advantage of social media marketing, or perhaps you need a system for measuring your print advertising ROI. Whatever you find lacking, come up with a strategy for addressing it in 2012, then lay out a plan for measuring your success. For example, if last year’s plan focused on customer retention rates but didn’t articulate your measurement technique, add it now. Try tracking retention with a point-of-sale system that uses telephones numbers to monitor purchase behavior.
Don’t forget to compare your 2012 business plan with your marketing plan—they should be kept separate, but in harmony.
If you want a better marketing plan, remember that specificity reigns supreme. A solid one is concrete through and through, with clearly fleshed-out facts and figures so that your marketing team can work from a plan they can actually follow. When’s the perfect time to cut all ambiguity? Um, now.
Your marketing plan needs to include expense budgets, team members who will be accountable for each task and measurable goals. For example—Joe Schmoe will increase lead conversion by 25% from 2011 with a monthly email newsletter sent to 500 recipients. Sounds a lot more doable than “generate more leads than last year,” huh?
Assess and Reassess
You don’t have to be in freshman biology to conduct an experiment or two. Study your marketing plan from this year—which advertising methods paid off and which didn’t?
When you improve your marketing strategy according to your business’ goals, weak spots are bound to surface. Just don’t shy away from them. Recognize the areas that need a little help and market accordingly. If your company needs to increase visibility, adjust your marketing plan to do just that—focus on word-of-mouth initiatives, customer rewards and SEO. If client retention is far from your strong suit, plan customer loyalty programs and invest in advertising that promotes your excellent customer service.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Does your marketing strategy speak to your expertise and your company’s credibility? If not, what can you do to fix that? Marketing your printing company with an emphasis on building trust and a rock-solid rep will help retain clients and attract new ones when people are more hesitant than ever to spend their hard-earned money.
Make 2012 your business’ best year yet—refine your marketing strategy now and you’ll have more to celebrate later. What kind of revisions does your marketing strategy need?