11 Dec 7 steps to bigger marketing muscle in 2010
I tell my clients that marketing is a lot like working out – you have to be consistent or you won’t see results. No one expects to see muscles popping out all over after one visit to the gym. For the same reaons you can’t expect immediate, lasting results from one promotional campaign. As you look toward 2010 and what will surely be a better year for all of us, it might help to build a marketing practice that looks a bit more like a workout schedule. Here are few ways to do just that.
- Decide on your goal measurements. This could be different depending on your business – maybe it’s orders, website traffic, inbound requests, proposals…or a combination of anything that’s proven to add up to more sales for you. This year, I’ll be working toward a goal of writing a certain number of proposals a month.
- Determine your marketing workout. Will you finally be getting into social media this year? Or do you need to increase your brand recognition locally? If you’re not sure, maybe the first three months of the year will include trying several different things to see what drives the best results. Often you have to find the right recipe for your business – it might take a little while. (Here’s an article on blending traditional media and social media if you’re looking for more specifics on this.)
- Think about your marketing and PR budget in terms of TIME rather than MONEY. You might sit down every year and decide how much you’ll spend on ads or other promotions. But many of you end up spending that money unwisely because you haven’t planned your activities – or end up not spending it at all. Usually it’s the time that becomes a challenge, much more than the money.
- Schedule your workout time on your calendar. Frankly, marketing and public relations are often done last minute or when the situation is dire. Dedicate 2-3 hours a week for marketing tasks – maybe that includes time working with an administrative person or consultant who will be the one to carry out the tasks. Consistently work on your promotion tactics, even if it’s 20 minutes a day spent on increasing your digital footprint through social media. The main thing is, make it consistent and turn it into a habit.
- Switch it up. Just as your muscles need to experience a new workout in order to be challenged, your marketing programs can also get stale. Don’t keep doing the same old thing just because it’s easier to re-up than to do research on what might work better.
- Spend an hour each month reviewing the results of your work. If you’re buying ads in a community paper, what was the result? If you’ve been blogging consistently, is your web traffic increasing? Once you’re done measuring your efforts create a list of improvements for the following month.
- If you’re still having trouble fitting it in, find a workout buddy. Another business owner with a similar customer demographic can be a huge boon to your business. You can tell each other what’s working and tweak your marketing programs accordingly. When something isn’t working, another business owner can be a great second pair of eyes and ears.
And finally, be patient. Marketing and PR takes time to grow and it’s often the synergy between multiple campaigns that yields the best results.
For more ideas on building your marketing muscle, check out my favorite marketing blogs.