New Year’s Day was months ago. Your new exercise bike is collecting dust, the gym membership is non-refundable, and the scale is mocking you.
If you’re going to put on weight, it should be in your wallet!
These Marketing Resolutions won’t help you fit into your high school jeans or wedding dress but they can help grow your business!
Include marketing in my budget
Many businesses have ad hoc marketing budgets at best and when cash is tight, marketing is usually the first thing cut. How can you develop a marketing plan if you don’t have a budget?
Monitor the effectiveness of my marketing campaigns
A business owner quipped that half his advertising spend doesn’t work. The problem is he doesn’t know which half! You need to know what marketing efforts are bearing fruit and what needs to be pruned. Ask new and prospective customers where they heard about you. Re-evaluate your marketing efforts every three to four months.
Ensure my marketing efforts are directed at my target market
You may have the right product and the right message but you won’t get far if you’re talking to the wrong people. Some small businesses think every person with a pulse is a potential customer and try to reach everyone with their advertising. This may work for multi-national companies like Pepsi and Nike who have multi-billion dollar marketing budgets but it is impossible for small businesses. Do the market research and determine who and where your customers are before making your advertising buy.
Create an email list of existing and prospective customers
Email marketing can be effective if you develop your own organic email database of current and prospective customers. Your customers and prospects should be invited to join your mailing list for special offers and insider information. People like to hear from companies they do business with. Your Website should invite visitors to sign up for special email offers and email addresses should be collected at the point of sale. There are many customer relationship management (CRM) software providers, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Zoho.
Send monthly specials/newsletter to my email list
Now that you have the email database, use it. Send emails once or twice a month with information and special offers for your “insiders.”
Ensure my company is listed online
Your current and future customers are on social media and they search online business directories. Most of these platforms allow you a free listing/page. Determine what social media sites and business directories cater to your target market and update these sites often. Attend a Florida SBDC Social Media Strategies seminar if the last three sentences sounded Greek to you.
Network with local chambers, civic clubs, and trade associations
Don’t sit around waiting for customers, go get them. Every community has chambers, civic clubs, and non-profit organizations that are excellent opportunities to network and raise your business profile in the community. Wear a company shirt and name tag whenever you can. You’ll be surprised where you find your next customer. Never be caught without business cards.
The shape you see in the mirror is up to you. That holds true in business and in life.
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