When it comes to marketing your product or service, certain factors are critical in achieving success. As you look to the new year with the anticipation of growing your business, I encourage you to consider these key marketing resolutions:
- I will put myself in the shoes of my customer. For many of us, this can be difficult to do and is increasingly harder the longer we work in our own industries. As we become more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about our products and services, we internalize the features and benefits they offer—at least as we see it or as we WANT to see it. That’s why it’s important to step back and think in terms of how the targeted prospect feels about what we deliver.
- I will be consistent. I will be consistent. I will be consistent. One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make is when they try a new marketing approach and give up after a few weeks “because it didn’t work.” It’s important to remember that it takes time for your message to reach the right customer with enough frequency for them to act.
- I will evaluate and adjust my plans. Successful marketers measure, evaluate and tweak their efforts. Although this seems contradictory to the above resolution, it is actually just an extension of being consistent. It’s not possible to accurately evaluate and adjust unless something has been consistently carried out. That’s why evaluation should be done at the appropriate time, using the proper criteria and objective appraisal. In most cases, the needed adjustments are small and don’t require completely abandoning the current plan. Continuing the plan—even with minor adjustments— provides consistency.
- I will look for new opportunities. Today’s world changes far too fast for any of us to become complacent about what we offer the marketplace. It’s necessary to keep your eyes open for new products or services, enhancements to what you already offer, supporting products or services (think iPod and iPhone accessories) or modifications to your service approach.
- I will commit sufficient time and money to marketing. It’s no secret that many businesses cut marketing expenditures first when looking at ways to trim their budget. While some organizations are willing to commit the dollars, they would also benefit from dedicating company time to the initiative. This can be done by hiring an internal marketing staff person or by giving an appropriate manager the time/authority to interact with an outside agency.
There are many businesses in central Illinois that already do these five things very well. However, if you’re an organization that seems to be stuck at a plateau, consider implementing these five resolutions as 2008 turns the corner. Happy New Year! TPW