It’s almost the end of 2019 and whilst it’s a time for festivities and relaxation it’s also a great time for reflection and for planning for the year ahead. Maybe marketing was on the to-do list for your small business during 2019 but never quite got to the top or perhaps you’re looking to accelerate your marketing plans in 2020 and need some structure around that thinking. Here I share useful tips on things you’ll need to consider in your marketing plans for the year ahead.
No, it’s not the most fun part of marketing but paying attention to your budget is essential. Did you set a marketing budget in 2019? If you didn’t you’ll still need to look back and see what you spent on marketing and how effective it was, and if you’re wondering what you should consider as marketing spend then we’re talking events, getting things printed, updates to your website, all of these are part of marketing. If you did have a budget (great!) take some time to look at where you spent it and whether it was a worthwhile return on investment? For example, did you pay to attend events and if so did you get any leads or client work from that? For your new budget think about what your goals entail and what cost that might attract? Do you need marketing resource to support your growth plans - how much will that cost?
What’s your goal?
What do you want marketing to do for your business in the coming year? What goals are you setting and why?, this is different for every business, ultimately all businesses will be looking for marketing to put ‘cash in the till’ but if you’re in the early stages of your marketing journey then this may not be your immediate goal and you may be more focused on brand awareness, PR, a great social presence or lead generation. Whatever your goal it’s important that you’re clear on what you want to achieve and the marketing activity which will help you to do this.
What worked well this year?
If you did some marketing during 2019 it’s important to take a look back and consider what performed well (and why) if you’ve been creating content then look at the content which performed best and use this to shape your plans for 2020, did you target a specific audience that responded well? What sort of content was most successful, did you write blogs or did video work better? It’s also important here to consider what ‘ working well’ means to you, much like goal-setting, this won’t be the same for every business, but the things you intend to repeat or grow upon in 2020 should be the things which have already helped support your overall goals.
What are your competitors doing?
I’m a firm believer that there’s room for everyone nonetheless it’s a reality of business that you will always have competition and you shouldn’t ignore it. Marketing is your opportunity to stand out and showcase the things which make your business unique, so it’s definitely worth looking at those with a similar offering to you to see what their marketing is like, what are they focusing on, and if your services are similar then why are yours different/better and how can you represent this through the marketing that you do?
Get some support
As a small business, it’s likely that you won’t have ‘in house’ marketing resource but you may still have a team around you who know the business and who will be able to work with you to help define what you want to achieve and align marketing strategy to your goals, plus if you’re going to make marketing a priority in the coming months you’ll need the whole team on board to support that. If you’re going it alone, there’s still input to be had on your marketing plans for 2020 whether that’s engaging trusted contacts or working with a marketing professional to help put some structure to your thoughts and work with you to get in plan in place for 2020.
Looking to make marketing a priority for your business in 2020 and need some support to get started? Get in touch for an informal chat
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