I believe that marketing is more of a science than an art. Every entrepreneur should be on top of their marketing strategy. Here is a list of 10 tips to take charge of your campaign.
Prepare a formal marketing plan –
i.e. if you don’t have one already. Regardless of the size of your venture, having a thorough marketing plan is a no-brainer. In many instances, entrepreneurs wear more than one hat. A well-written marketing plan can be a practical reference tool to fall back on.
Update your marketing plan –
This should be a yearly ritual. Often, entrepreneurs and start-up companies have one set of plan that they had written in order to get a loan or to present to a venture capitalist. Upon starting any venture for a year, it is critical to assess your marketing plan and make appropriate changes to the plan.
Align marketing strategy with your core business goals –
When I write business plans, I dedicate a good portion of my plan for a detail marketing strategy. Marketing strategy or the marketing plan can be a part of the overall business plan. When updating your marketing plan, make sure to align with your core business goals. As we all know, business goals can also change over a period of time. For an instance, if demographics of the buyers who buy from you is changing, the new marketing strategy needs to address that and introduce new marketing means that align with this new target group.
Measure the spending –
Most successful companies are great marketers by design. Luck can take you only so far. Once in a while, companies get free publicity and create a huge buzz! But, you can’t rely on that. For every company that gets a rare easy break, there are thousands that go unnoticed. You need a sustainable marketing plan that can be measured at every step of the way. From the strategic point of view, conduct a detail analysis of your previous year’s spending. Create a matrix of each and every marketing campaign conducted and find out the return on the investment made. Based on the hard facts, re-assess the marketing dollars spent and scrap the marketing initiatives that didn’t yield results and re-allocate to the ones that worked.
Forecast expected return –
Forecast expected return for the upcoming quarter. Base your forecast on a thorough research and try to be as thorough as you can. All large corporations have strong forecasting methodologies in place. Right forecasting is the key to scaling an operation. If your business has a dedicated marketing team, forecasting ties in to the accountability of the team.
Re-align marketing collaterals –
Make all the marketing materials current. There is nothing worse than your pitching a service that is different from the one shown on your brochure. What you pitch needs to align with the current business plan, marketing plan, the company website, and other advertisement campaigns running in parallel. The presentation can be very simple but by all means all the marketing collaterals need to be aligned and convey an uniform message.
Execute constant PR campaigns –
With the advent of the Internet, running a PR campaign has never been easier. Prepare an electronic Press kit for your company and send it along with other sales material. Send press releases as often as possible. Businesswire is my favorite when it comes to getting exposure to larger media outlets like Forbes and Investor’s Business Daily. Business Wire charges between $200 – $500 per release depending on the targeted geographic reach. I am currently exploring some of the online free services like Prfree and Free-press-release.
Collaborate with products, clients, strategic partners that strengthen the brand
Leverage on satisfied clients to reach to other clients – Get testimonials from satisfied clients to include in your press kit, other marketing materials