As the first half of 2015 comes to a close, now is a great time to evaluate first half results and see if you are on track to achieve your growth goals for 2015. If you are like many, you probably did not achieve all of your first half goals that you set for your business. You might also feel that you are not on track to meet your year-end goals. While this can be disheartening, now is the time to review and adjust your plan in order to achieve success as you finish 2015.
The following marketing tips can help you finish the year strong and make 2015 a success.
Review & Connect with Your Prospect List
Hopefully you made new connections in the first half of 2015. It is not uncommon to see connections that seemed promising lead to nothing. Now is a great time to reestablish contact with those promising prospects. Go through your list of prospects and identify the ones that have a high potential for future business. Determine what you can give them that might spark their interest in reconnecting with you. It could be information on new services you offer. It could be a promotional item that shows your appreciation. The key here is to be proactive and creative in reconnecting.
Reevaluate Your Brand and Visual Identity
Is your identity fresh, clean and welcoming for your target market? If not, it may be time for a redesign of your marketing materials or website. For many potential customers, a website is their first impression of your company. If it is poorly designed, doesn’t generate leads, and not user and mobile friendly, you may repel customers instead of attracting them. Now more than ever, creative branding and attractive design of all marketing communications is necessary to compete and draw in potential customers.
Identify Cross-Marketing Opportunities to Increase Reach
Creativity is the key when you have a relatively small marketing budget. Teaming up with other businesses to cross-promote your business creates opportunities to extend your reach. If possible, pursue partnerships that could help customers and increase sales for both parties making you look like a hero! It’s important to identify partners that have the values, brand image and customer experience that fit your business identity. Some opportunities include: developing co-branded collateral, co-sponsoring an event, and posting content on each other’s blog or social media platforms.
Utilizing an Outside Marketing Partner
If you are not a marketing expert or don’t have the internal resources to effectively promote your company, secure an outside marketing company that has the knowledge, experience and tools to achieve your goals. Many small business owners try to take on design, marketing, and sales in addition to operations, finances, HR, and so on. Doing this creates sub-optimal results across the board and puts your business at a disadvantage when competing against larger companies with significant marketing resources.
Do your homework on the marketing company to understand what services they offer and why their clients value them as a marketing partner. Develop your budget for marketing and work with an expert to identify what tactics will maximize results. Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable that the money you are spending on marketing creates a solid return on investment.
Build a Marketing Plan and Track Results
Those companies with a marketing plan perform better than those without a plan. So, if you have a marketing plan, great! Now is a great time to review the tactics and results from the first half of the year and see what adjustments you need to make in the 2nd half. For example, if you ran a direct mail campaign that didn’t achieve results, identify the underlying cause and determine whether it makes sense to run another campaign or scrap direct mail altogether.
Giving yourself time to do this mid-way through the year can give you clarity to adjust your plans and finish out the second half of the year with a bang.
If you would like to discuss your marketing plan or need help building your plan, please contact us today!