What if there were things you could start doing now that could help you to market more successfully in future? Even if you didn’t have your marketing act together over past year. Well, there are.
(1) Review your past marketing activities and results
Take some time to review all of your marketing activities and try to understand which ones worked best. And when I say “worked best” I mean, which ones resulted in more clients, more customers, more sales, or more growth for your business?
Your goal each year should be to understand which marketing activities bring you more business and which ones do not, so you can concentrate on activities that work, and delete ones that do not. Even if you did not have an organized marketing plan, or marketing activities that you implemented consistently during past year, if you are still in business today, then there must have been some form of marketing going on.
(2) Broaden your definition of marketing
Marketing isn’t only things like running an advertisement, or sending out a direct mail piece. It's anything you do that puts your business, product or service in front of prospects you are trying to sell to.
You may be surprised to realize you’ve been marketing more than you know!
Any time you talk to someone about your business, product or service, in person, at an event, over phone, or through a brochure or some form of media, you are marketing. Any time you send someone an email or a thank you card from your business, you are marketing.
Be aware of any time you are communicating with current customers, or potential customers. Take opportunity to make them aware of new products or services, special offers or programs, or even milestones or changes in your business.
Do you include your business card every time you mail a letter to a client or prospect? Do you have an email signature that includes your business name, your phone number, your email address, your website address and possibly even your tagline? You should. You are reminding people about your products and services and making it easy for them to find out more if they so choose.
If you truly believe that your products or services can enhance people’s lives, then it should be easy to share word at every opportunity. After all, if people don’t know about you, they can’t benefit. Put this way, it is almost a disservice to NOT market.
(3) See if you can track your sales to your marketing, either directly or indirectly
Take a look at marketing you did do, taking into consideration all of activities mentioned above. Can you directly or indirectly track any new or increased business to these activities? An example of direct tracking might be: You attended a networking event and someone you gave your business card to, contacted you or made a purchase.
An example of indirect tracking might be: You attended a networking event, and someone you gave your business card to, referred you to a friend, and that friend contacted you or made a purchase. For each marketing activity you did over past year, ask yourself following questions:
(a) Did I get any new clients, customers or increased sales as a direct result, or an indirect result, of this activity?
(b) If answer is yes, quantify result by asking yourself: How many new clients, customers or sales did it generate?
If you can't seem to track your past marketing activities, consider asking your current customers how they found out about you.