3 Marketing Issues to Fix before Making Plans for 2015

Each year around this time we are inundated with (insert name of expert)’s ideas on how next year will be the year we make better of ourselves, our business, relationships, etc… “So and So Shows you how to finally succeed in 2015,” or “Whatchamacallit’s Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Growing Your Business.” We all know the drill.

For marketers, this time of year, when leaves are turning and pumpkin flavors all things, also means planning and execution of holiday season campaigns along with new budgets and strategies for next years’ marketing efforts.

Among his many political and philosophical musings, Edmund Burke said,” Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Before moving on to this New Year’s hottest resolutions, stop and gauge what past hindrances may still need to be resolved before growth can be achieved. This will at the very least ensure last year’s projects are complete, regardless of the level of success achieved.

Here are three thoughts on common marketing issues that should be fixed before any new undertakings can be counted upon:

1. Measure twice, cut once.
Before every marketing campaign, a business should first measure what the key performance indicators will be. This way it is known ahead of time what the expectations and necessary results are for marketing efforts to be worthy of time and money spent. Once a campaign is launched every indicator must then be tracked; meaning no matter what the KPI’s are, they have to be measurable within a realistic degree of accuracy. Everything from impressions, calls, clicks, responses, redemptions, site and/or store visits, and more must be measured. Finally, when the campaign has run its course all data must be analyzed to identify what worked, what did not, how, and why. When this knowledge is discovered, future efforts are made more effective and lean.

2. Whose business am I seeking?
For a business, much can be achieved by simply knowing who the average customer is and what media they use most. There are many publishers, sellers, and proponents of each and every different media channel; online, mobile, print, radio, television, etc… and each might claim that the media they serve is viable. The truth is that several, all, one, or none could actually be where customers are looking and the formula for success will be slightly different for every business.

For example, two pediatricians will likely have the same demographics to market themselves to. However if one practices in Austin, Texas and the other in Alamogordo, New Mexico, they may actually need to serve their message in different forms, or in different media altogether.

3. Is the path to purchase for my customers conducive to their behaviors?
Though there are many examples of businesses that do this right, some still are not giving their clientele a simple, user-friendly way to click, call, or navigate to their stores. If the customers are online, the business should be. If the customers use smartphones for business information, the business needs to have a mobile friendly online environment. If a customer searches for a business’s information in any media, is the information they get accurate, adequate and up to date enough to properly convey the business’s message?

In addition to the aforementioned three, there are many other marketing theories and strategies that could have made this list. For the sake of conciseness, these here are simply meant to grease the wheels of thought and help that next big campaign have a clean start thanks to lessons learned from its predecessors.

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