One of life’s great mysteries: why some people are extremely successful with their marketing and others are not. They seem to be able to put great ads together quickly. They can develop and launch a website in less than a few weeks. Better still, their return on their marketing investment is much higher than the average business spending the same amount of money. In this episode, I will cover “getting organized” to wage war on your competitors. I will also show you a checklist that when fulfilled and followed, will make you come out on top 99 percent of the time. Better still, your return on your investment dollar will be better than it’s ever been.
Getting the Steps Right
Marketers need to have certain items in place before they develop their marketing plans. Those who create and launch successful marketing campaigns make sure they have all their ducks in a row. What I mean by this is they do a lot of prep work to make sure the elements of the campaign are sound and well planned.
Research and setting smart goals is key to success. They then include important factors like, alignment with the company’s objectives, they utilize their unique selling propositions, they focus on a target market segment, they include a compelling offer and stick to a reasonable and realistic budget. Finally, they execute all called for steps and measure their results. Following these steps in this order will ensure success.
Never take shortcuts. Skipping smart goal setting, not having/leveraging your USP, leaving out a compelling offer or going after a different demographic segment without research, often results in poor performance and loss of revenue.
The Gathering of Important Things
First, let’s examine the resources you need to gather. You will need many types of photos, all your contact info, brochures, customer lists, market segment statistics, videos, awards and more etc. Here is a partial list of items you need to gather.
• Pictures of events you have participated in for work or business.
• A good Head Shot photo along with a profile photo.
• Photos of the business.
• Photos of your products or service.
• Map to the business
• Logos, Banners, and other artwork you use in the business
• Testimonials as postcards or letters of recommendation
• Screen prints of online recommendations via social post or rating sites
• Unique selling proposition as a written statement
• Ideal customer profile/s as a written statement/s
• Any commercials that worked in the last two years
• Video/s for the business on YouTube or other service
• Copies of news articles about your business or you as the owner
• List of awards received with photos of the awards
• A list of newsworthy items you can use to create Press Releases
• A list of subjects you can use to develop blog articles
• A list of ideas for videos for your website and YouTube channel
• A list of magazines, e-zine’s, online news service that you read related to your industry.
• A list of influential people and leaders in your industry
• A list of clients/customers willing to give a video testimonial
• Make a list of financial resources to pay for your campaign
Creating a Knowledge Base leads to Power
Once these items have been gathered, you will begin to formulate an idea of what your goals and strategy are likely to be. After making sure you have a good grasp of all the marketing elements at your disposal, it’s time to begin creating your marketing plan. I suggest you follow these steps to maximize your success.
• Set Smart Goals
S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable,Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. Creating poorly designed goals are one of the most common mistakes marketers make. This is your foundation. If your foundation is weak, so will your entire plan be week. I like to start my goal setting by creating annual goals first and then breaking down the year into 4 quarters, then the months that make up the quarters and then the weeks that make up the months. Each sub goal (i.e.quarterly and weekly goals) must feed into and be congruent with the overall annual goal for me to reach what I call success.
• Creating your S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Implement a new theme each year. What do you envision as producing a great year with your marketing? Don’t just include financial information, be more specific. Include your budget, the people involved, items to be sold, successful events, target clients, rewards etc… The more you can envision the details of your success, the greater the likely hood or achieving that success.
Put in place one major marketing goal for the year. This needs to be a goal that you really want and can achieve in 12 months. Second, create four marketing goals that will move you in the direction of your overall goal for the year. These are the four quarterly goals that need to be reached in order to accomplish your annual goal.
For example: an annual goal might be doubling your client base from 100 to 200 for a specific product or service. The quarterly goals would be to add 25 new clients per quarter. Your monthly goals would break this down by showing how you will acquire these new clients with your marketing. Each week of a month might include a special sale, advertising, event marketing, direct mail element, networking or cold call campaign. They also need to include budgetary items, any training/new skills needed, purchasing necessities and acquiring needed resources. The result of each week’s effort must turn into the desired results of each month, which in turn, the aggregate of these months needs to produce the results of your quarterly goal, etc…
The Second Most Important Element
The next element of the list is accountability. If you want to achieve your goals, make sure you have a way of being held accountable for the goals you have set. We use a business coach to plan our goals (i.e. make sure the goals are objectively S.M.A.R.T.) and to also hold us accountable for the goals we set. I recommend using a business coach (like Action Coach Intl.), or an “Agent of Record” that does strategic planning (we are an Agent of Record marketing agency), outside coaching services like Marketing Matters or the SBDC at a college near you. Having some kind of external objective sounding board is a must. Their job is not only to help you plan, but to make sure your ideas and goals are realistic and to hold you accountable for reaching your goals.
Once your annual marketing plan is in place, it’s time to execute the first quarter of your new campaign. If this is your first try, don’t get discouraged if you aren’t reaching your goals. Go back and figure out what went wrong. Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted to achieve? Did you over commit? Were your goals unrealistic? Were they truly S.M.A.R.T. goals? Did you have a way of being held accountable? What was missing?
In most cases, it is rare to achieve a high level of success, if you go it alone, the first time around. I found (especially in my early days) that I sometimes overestimated my ability to execute my plan and underestimated the time and resources needed to achieve a goal. Understand that there is a learning curve to this process. Commit to long-term success by understanding that you learn more from your failures that you do through your success. However, never forget that your goal is to achieve success. Putting real effort in your planning, research and S.M.A.R.T. goal setting, up front, will pay big dividends towards achieving your success. The rest is execution.