It's the end of the year, and if you're like most people in this world, 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare.
Hopefully we'll wake up on January 1st and it all will have been a bad dream.
The BAD NEWS is that as much as I would love too, I can't solve this dilemma for you in this blog.
The GOOD NEWS is that I can help you prevent a marketing nightmare in the New Year.
In this month's blog post I'll be covering important End of Year Marketing Tips to ensure that you'll be set up for success.
Let's get right to business so you can start taking action today. By the end of this post, you will have a solid foundation for what to review, what to do, and just as important -- what not to do.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #1
Clean Up Your Database
Your database is the list of your prospects (those who have not purchased from you), your active clients, and your past clients. If your advertising and marketing is working properly, you should have continual growth every month of new leads/prospects that enter into your database.
A certain percent of those prospects should become customers. And, naturally, some of your active customers should end up becoming past customers.
The important thing for you to do at the end of year is review your database to ensure it is accurate. Here are a few questions I want you to ask yourself. And, based on your response, you can then take the appropriate action.
1. Have you been segmenting your database properly so you have an accurate count of your prospects, active customers, and past customers?
You'll want to make sure you have accurate segmentation of your database that includes, at the very least: prospects, active customers and past customers.
You can take this a step further and track prospects who were made an offer to purchase but did not (ideal for businesses who send proposals or quotes). If you are an eCommerce-based business, you'll most certainly want to track those people who have abandoned their cart and failed to make a purchase.
2. Have you checked the population of contacts that have become unmarketable?
For whatever reason, these are the people who are no longer receiving your emails. They could have an email address that no longer is active and the emails are now bouncing. Or, they could have opted-out/unsubscribed from receiving your emails.
You will also want to check for people who are unengaged. Unengaged contacts are people who -- typically based on a standard measure -- have not opened any of your emails in the last 90 days.
People who are unengaged should be reviewed and you'll want to consider a few options. You can send them less emails, you can create a special campaign to see if they do want to receive your emails, or you can remove them from your email communications.
Doing this helps to ensure your email deliverability remains accurate and your sender reputation remains in good standing. Should your sender reputation be degraded, you'll have a very difficult time getting emails to anyone's inbox regardless of what system you use.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #2
Look For Trends
Trends appear each and every year.
It's important for you to take a step back and look at the landscape to see what has changed in how you operate your business, sell to your customers, and how your customers engage with you. Outlying factors include, but aren't limited to: the political landscape, laws and taxes, the state of the economy, consumer's perception of their own finances, employment rates, and of course, a global pandemic can completely change the direction of business.
Reviewing outlying factors will help you determine if anything that has happened or is coming up (such as a new law going into effect or change of politics) may impact your business. You'll want to weigh your options to see what things can be done to mitigate any potential risks you'll face and any opportunities you can take advantage of.
Additionally, you'll want to review the seasonality of your business and check for any changes.
For example, do you typically have a slow Third Quarter, but this past year you noticed an uptick in sales? Whatever trends you see, take a deeper dive to investigate what those driving forces might be and how you can take advantage of them. If you are noticing any negative trends it is even more important to review the "what, "why," and "how," so you can create a plan of attack for the upcoming year.
It's ALWAYS best to be proactive, rather than reactive.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #3
Create A Marketing Plan
Like all things in life that are done properly, you need a plan before you do anything.
Plans guide you on how you're going to get to your destination. More importantly, well-thought-out plans provide the right tools, timeline, and strategy to smoothly navigate that journey. And in marketing, having a plan that addresses the entire customer's journey is paramount for your business success. Oddly enough, nearly all the businesses my agency, Built by Love™, works with do not have a well-designed customer journey before they begin working with us. They often struggle never quite knowing what is working and what isn't and how to fix whatever is broken.
If there is anything you do for your marketing planning this year you must create a plan that addresses the following things:
- Who are your Ideal Customers?
- How will you communicate with them?
- What is your differentiating statement that clearly states why your brand/business is better than the competition?
- What are the stages of your Ideal Customer Journey?
- How are you addressing their needs, wants and objections at every stage in that journey?
- Are you infusing delight for your customer in everything you do?
- Have you planned the right assets to be shared during each stage of the Customer Journey?
I know this sounds like a lot of work and I'll be honest, it is. However, this is critical to your marketing success. My agency has been in business since 1998, and in the Marketing World, that makes us the elders at the roundtable. What we have learned for being in business for so long and having worked with more than 1,000 clients from around the world is that this is where you must start.
In fact, it took me ten years to develop our very own proprietary process that addresses all these points. It's called the Marketing RAMP™ and we always start with this for every single client. If you are interested in having us do this work with you, please book your free consult by clicking this link.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #4
Update Your Dates
This one is super simple but still very important, which is why I say it every year! Make sure your website and all your assets (that have copyrights on them) are updated with the current date.
It's that simple. Make sure your website doesn't have a date at the bottom of the page from the previous year. This simple end of year to-do protects you and your intellectual property.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #5
Review Your Toolbox
This is another tip that shouldn't take you too long. Take a look at all the software and tools your business and team are using.
Consider the great tools you do have at your disposal that are being under-utilized. If that's the case, figure out why and come up with a solution. If your team aren't experts in your marketing software, hire an experienced agency like ours to help them.
Also, identify which ones you are really using and which ones you are paying for that aren't getting much use. Consider eliminating unnecessary expenses for fancy gadgets that may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but are rarely being used.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #6
Create A Content Plan
Content is a huge driver for educating your prospects and customers as well as engaging them with your brand to build deeper loyalty. You will, of course, want to review what you have now and determine if it is working or if it needs a refresh.
Next, you'll want to identify areas of opportunity for new content that can be infused into the different stages of your customer journey. As I had previously mentioned, our proprietary marketing process, called the Marketing RAMP™, does this for our clients. That being said, if you don't have your own Marketing RAMP™ from our agency, you'll want to review your customer journey and map all the content you have to know what should be used where. You'll likely find content gaps and then need to create that content that can be used across your sales and marketing campaigns.
The last thing you'll want to do is create an Editorial Calendar for the New Year. If you aren't sure how to do this or what an Editorial Calendar is, click this link and read about it in one of my previous blog posts.
End of Year
Marketing Tip #7
Hire The Right Team
The best planning in the world is only as good as the team that's executing that plan. This is why I left this tip as the very last.
If your marketing seems to be struggling...if your lead flow isn't as strong as it should be...if you are continually frustrated by the turnaround time of your team's ability to get things done...then you need to consider either hiring some new team members, or you can hire an award-winning agency like ours that can get the job done at a fraction of the cost of an experienced employee.
Whatever your decision may be, I invite you to schedule a free call with my team and I today to assess what the best direction you should take for the greatest possible chance of success in the New Year.