Getting your marketing ducks in a row isn’t hard if you follow these tips!
It’s already September, and whether you are planning your holiday advertisements or you want to get a jumpstart on your advertising plans for next year, these 9 tips can make your future advertising campaigns more successful by getting all of your marketing ducks in a row. These best practices will also help you gain mileage from your marketing investment.
I know how chaotic it can be to track all the advertising schedules, dates, offers, promotions, specials, etc., especially when you’re using multiple marketing channels and partners to promote your business (such as radio, direct mail, online, SMS texting, mobile, print, and TV). To help bring it all together, here is a list of best practices for organizing your marketing campaigns.
Here are the 9 tips on how to get started with planning your advertising.
- Take inventory. The first thing to do is to assess where you are. Take a step back and list out all of the marketing tactics you have used (including results) and plan to use.
- Determine your goals. As you assess your plan, think about your business needs and goals, whether it is to retain customers, acquire new customers, fill a slow time, or simply awareness – or all of these. The, prioritize what you want to accomplish for your overall business growth plan.
- Consider timing, frequency and audience. Think wide and long-term: Think about trends. Are there seasonal patterns, annual traditions, and holidays to consider? Are there shopping patterns? Consider local community events throughout the year that you can leverage or events that may compete with it. Is one time of the day better than the other for reaching your target audience? Who is your target audience? How will you reach them: in their homes, in their car or on their phones? How often should you reach out to them? Create a marketing planning calendar for your business.
- Get a handle on financials. Do some homework and establish costs and estimated return for various marketing tactics. Then look at your cash flow and budget and identify what you can spend on advertising. Establish a break-even point for each tactic so you know what you would need to generate to have positive ROI.
- Determine realistic ROI. Ask yourself, “What ROI will I use to determine if my advertising is effective?” Redemptions, average ticket, leads generated, seats filled, etc. Know exactly how you’ll track your metrics of success and have a backup plan to be able to adjust your plan based on opportunities that arise.
- Evaluate and prioritize the tactics. Sure, there are plenty of options but which are most likely to achieve your business goals with an ROI that makes sense for your business? Rank them based on achieving the goal and ROI.
- Commit the money. Invest the money you need to in order to be successful. Don’t forget back-end tracking, either. This is your hard-earned money being spent, so you need to make sure there’s a process in place to measure each campaign so you can tweak it to improve.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust or try new tactics along the way. Test channels, offers, messaging, design, and other pieces of the campaign. Give programs time to work but don’t be afraid to adjust the plan when it makes sense. Pull out what’s not working as well and keep doing more of what gets the most results. Apply lessons learned as you go but don’t lose sight of the long-term goals.
- The main thing to remember is that what works for one channel at one time, may not work for another channel at another time. Generic mass marketing with one message everywhere all the time usually doesn’t pay dividends. It’s best to strategically plan each piece of your campaign to grow your business, which is why it’s critical to start with identifying your business goals.
Are you thinking about your marketing this way? If you’ve got stories to share and lessons you’ve learned about planning – or not planning – advertising campaigns, I want to hear about them in the comments!
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reason people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou.