At the start of the new year, how much of your old marketing plan did you scrap? Chances are great that the answer is “almost none of it.” This is normal!
Many small businesses tend to hold on to the internal assets they have spent time, effort and money creating, including their marketing plan.
Most examine their marketing plan for “tweaks” they can make or additions, but the old activities largely stay put.
Unfortunately, this approach often fails to meet the expectations of the small business owner. Like dusting around objects on a shelf, things get overlooked, and the overall effect is usually less than glamorous.
As an alternative, businesses should consider periodically rewriting their marketing plan from the ground up. They can re-insert existing assets into this plan as they see fit, but the overall structure should be fundamentally altered to seek out one purpose or goal.
Still not convinced? First, consider these benefits to rethinking your small business marketing before you go right back to the “same old thing’:”
You Can Set One Clear Goal and Pursue It Efficiently
Small businesses tend to put up hurdles for themselves by making their marketing plan take on too much at once. By trying to do everything, your plan may accomplish very little in each category. However, if you focus on exactly one goal or metric, your marketing plan can be structured from the ground up so that every activity reinforces it.
So, choose a marketing goal and stick with it. Great examples include:
- Same store sales lift
- New customer acquisition
- Decreased customer churn
- More diversified sales (as opposed to being heavy in one product/service)
- Increased online leads
When you decide on one goal — say, acquiring 30 new business customers this year — you can ensure that every marketing effort goes towards meeting that goal. You get to cut out all the chaff from the wheat when it comes to online messaging, email marketing and even customer service policies. Everyone is focused on appealing to business clients so that they can secure new, recurring accounts.
You Won’t Take Every Small Business Marketing Activity for Granted
We tend to get caught up in the moment of performing a task rather than focusing on its goal. For instance, maybe your business is constantly posting to social media in an effort to boost engagement. These actions may be generating lots of “likes” and page follows, but are they helping you meet your goals?
With this in perspective, you can take a step back and define what sort of actions actually make progress towards your targets. Going back to the example of acquiring new business accounts, you may decide to reduce the amount of cute cat memes you share — which generate “likes” but perhaps not business — in favor of more insightful content shares that offer value to a business audience.
You Gain More Time to Focus on Other Things
The most liberating aspect of starting your marketing plan off on a clean slate is that you can throw out (or temporarily halt) activities that soak up lots of your time. Giving yourself permission to stop designing a new newspaper ad every month, for example, can let you focus more energy on other parts of your marketing plan or your business itself.
Similarly, investing in an ultrasonic cleaning bath system can free up time and energy spent on cleaning so that your staff can get more important stuff done. Consider time-saving ideas like these whether thinking about marketing or work tasks, and you will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish!