If only you could drive over to Target, pick out a website from the shelf, check out, and call it a day….
If only marketing were that simple! But its not. And you shouldn’t want it to be, either. Because your business is unique. And a unique business requires well thought out strategy and planning to ensure the train keeps running smoothly.
Organization is key. In fact, now is the perfect time to start planning for next year. Many of our clients elect to dedicate January as their “organization” time. The organization phase is key to getting out of the gates cleanly. So what does that mean? It means your marketing strategy. Make sure your strategy is in place at the beginning of the year so the remainder can be spent executing on it.
Marketing is not instant. In fact, the best campaigns take time. Take for example the travel industry in New England. Do you start your campaign upon the beginning of your busy season? Or are you thinking about the fact that most planners are booking their vacations 4-6 months before that time? Your strategy and research (aka the “organization” phase) can help you strategize things like so. Because in hindsight, you should really be top of mind and have a presence at that 4-6 month planning window – not just during the busy season when you’re already at full vacancy.
Try using a marketing checklist to make sure your business is ready for 2018:
- Is your marketing strategy in place?
- Do you have a detailed calendar, marketing when key messages and campaigns should be in full effect?
- What’s the current status of your website? Your website is the face of your brand. Is it responsive? Up to date with content? Have you done an SEO audit recently to help with your search rankings? Or are you still running on a platform from 1999? Don’t laugh! We’ve seen many.
- Your 2nd most visited place is likely to be your social media. If you’re not actively engaging with your audience – they’re going to drop you! Make sure your social strategy for 2018 has your target audience in mind. Often times, on social and beyond, we see the business promoting what THEY are interested in, rather than what their AUDIENCE is interested in. Make sure you’re talking to the person who’s actually keeping your revenue stream consistent.
- Stop and think about your brand identity. How old is it? Is it more than 5 years old? Is it time for a brand refresh?
- Target, target, target. In the digital world we now live in, everything is targeted. Make sure you’re investing your dollars wisely into areas where your audience is likely to consume the information. Having the time to research and negotiate a media buy in advance will help ensure this is happening.
- Lastly, have fun. Marketing is the cool stuff. It requires creativity, brainstorming and trial and error. Get your team involved. The best campaigns require the effort of everyone – your marketing agency, your business, your staff and your advocates. Figure out what makes you special, and capitalize on it.
Now let’s get planning! Only 20 days until 2018.