With January 1st less than two weeks away, now is the time to make sure your business and marketing goals are aligned for 2015. Whether you aspire to increase revenue by 20%, launch a new product or service, expand geographically or implement an acquisition strategy, the key is to know what role marketing will play in achieving these goals.
As you work to set and achieve your goals for the year ahead, aim to keep these golden rules of marketing top-of-mind:
Consistency applies to both the frequency of your marketing communications as well as the overall look, feel and message of the materials. If your company has a brand standards manual in place, be sure it is up-to-date and widely accessible to staff. Create production schedules and content calendars to keep marketing initiatives on track and ensure you have multiple touchpoints with each of your target audiences throughout each month.
Be ‘Perfectly Clear’
In addition to ensuring the aesthetics and messaging of your collateral are consistent, you want to be sure the messaging is easily understood by target audiences. It can be especially challenging for companies whose products and services are both intricate and complex to refinetheir messages into succinct snippets that are easy for the end consumer to digest. To achieve ‘perfectly clear’ messaging, evaluate which calls-to-action and marketing messages have driven the most inquiries and conversions during the past year. Further, identify which messages may have been misinterpreted or led to extensive questioning.
What matters most to internal audiences may vary widely from external audiences. In addition, what matters most to one target audience isn’t necessarily universal to all target audiences. Once you’ve honed your messaging to be ‘perfectly clear’, give it another read to be sure it keeps the audience top-of-mind. For example, the cost savings your energy solutions company may provide to small businesses may be the lead talking point for the CFO, but it’s not necessarily the first thing your strategic partners need to know about the company.
Markets are competitive and winning audiences’ attention in a real-time media world is no easy task. Regardless of your industry, there are compelling reasons to work with your firm. The key is to know what makes you unique and leverage it to rise above the competition.
While many associate creativity with over-the-top and out-of-the-box ideas, being creative can be as simple as helping people to see something routine in a new way.
How will you measure the success of your marketing? Success metrics, otherwise referred to as key performance indicators, are unique to each and every business. That said, the key is to be strategic and realistic when determining how your company will define success. With your marketing benchmarks in place, it’s time to determine when and how you will measure. Tip from the pros – don’t wait until next December – or even 6-months into the year – to determine that the tactics to which you allocated the most resources (time, budget) are under-performing. Effective marketing strategies are nimble and the best results come from being able to reallocate resources to replicate prior marketing successes.
While the marketing goals you set for 2015 should be tailored to leverage your company’s strengths and take advantage of timely opportunities, consistency, clarity, creativity, a laser focus on the audience and clearly defined success metrics are always important.