End of year is a fantastic time for work reflection — it’s when we reflect on the good and the bad and aspire to create change from the lessons we learned.
This is one of the reasons why I love December so much. It’s focused on reflection and appreciation for what we have, with an intent to create more delight and joy.
So, I want to talk about how we can bring the spirit of the season into our end-of-year sales and marketing review — reflecting on what is working, what isn’t and how you can improve it.
Work Reflection Question #1: Do You Have a Master Plan?
First and foremost, you need a master plan for your marketing. This is your foundation.
Restaurants might change their menu every few months, but they certainly don’t rip out all their tables and chairs or relocate the front door while they’re at it. And when you need to change the paint color of your master bedroom, you don’t also jackhammer out your home’s foundation.
Yet, in marketing, this kind of unnecessary sanction is done all the time!
We build short-term, linear based funnels for various sales promos that have no deeper foundation or connection. Not only do they deliver a sub-par customer experience, they actually create cliffs: once that customer or prospect is done with that funnel they walk off the cliff into a marketing void.
The land of mixed messaging and lost sales. The land of you not knowing anything about your customer base, except that they haven’t purchased yet.
This can be fixed with a foundational master plan. One that is based on tried-and-true fundamentals of human and buying psychology. A foundation that addresses all stages of the Customer Journey.
After over 10 years of research and development, and another 3 years of real-world testing, I created a marketing framework called the Marketing RAMP®. This stands for Responsive Automated Master Plan.
The Marketing RAMP® is made up of seven fundamental marketing pillars that work together as one to close more sales for your business.
While each of these stages are equally important to a marketing plan that works, I am going to focus on the most foundational aspects of it to reflect upon for our end of year planning.
These are: Getting to know your Ideal Buyer, Mapping the Customer Journey, and Building the R.A.M.P.
Work Reflection Question #2: Do You Know (REALLY Know) Your Ideal Customer?
If you are just creating content based and marketing plans based on what you think you know about your ideal customer, but you don’t actually investigate what they really want…then you won’t be able to create authentic connections.
To understand your ideal buyer's needs requires some deeper reflection questions, such as:
What is your ideal buyer’s age range, marital status, level of education, and location (if applicable)?
What does your ideal customer want? What do they value?
How does your ideal customer perceive themselves?
Who or what influences your ideal customers’ decisions?
What kinds of solutions are they looking for? What is their ideal version of success?
Once you are more clear on your ideal customer, then it will be much easier to create content that actually gets their attention.
Look at your current content, such as sales campaigns, social posts, paid ads, blogs and newsletters. Compare the content they contain to your ideal buyer’s needs and wants.
If your content is not in alignment with your customers’ burning questions, needs and wants then keep reading to see how you can leverage your ideal customer information above to do so.
Work Reflection Question #3: Do You Have a Map of Your Customer Journey?
The customer journey is dynamic. It’s cyclical and often indecisive. Some stay in the education / prospect stage for months, others might skip it entirely and go straight to buy.
If you are able to map out all the particulars of your customer journey, you can make it a two-way conversation. This will help you adapt to your buyers’ changing behaviors and prevent them from getting stuck in any one stage. You’re able to close the gap where they would have fallen off the cliff, and instead create a bridge that keeps them in your ecosystem.
Mapping your customer journey allows you to meet your ideal buyers every step of the way with the best messaging at the right time. It’s this timing that builds authentic connection, trust and transforms prospects into customers.
I’m going to talk more about timing, but if you want to take a deep dive into the mapping your customer journey, I recommend you read this article: How to Turn the Customer Journey Into a Scalable Buying Experience.
Work Reflection Question #4: Is the Timing of Your Messaging Off?
If you know your ideal customer, and you’ve mapped your customer journey, then you are in a great position to optimize the timing of your messaging.
Timing in marketing is everything. Who cares if you have brilliant messaging if your audience isn’t ready to hear it? Or if you’re answering questions that they’re not asking?
I’ve built a solution to this problem into the Marketing RAMP® with the concepts of Ideal Duration and Maximum Duration.
Ask yourself these marketing reflection questions:
How long should each prospect and customer live in each stage?
When should you give up?
When should you push hard?
Once you know the answer to each of these questions for each of your customer journey stages, then you know your ideal duration and max duration. I recommend you read: Why Ideal Duration is a Must-Have for Every Marketing Campaign to get the full rundown.
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Work Reflection Question #5: Are You Delighting Your Customers At Every Stage?
If you have a strong marketing foundation, then you’re able to do as the billion-dollar brands do — amaze and delight customers with brilliant content at the right time.
From subscribing to your newsletter to leaving a 5-star review and testimonial, after each step your customers take in their journey, your business should meet them with a delightful action. An action that affirms they made the right choice!
Again, this works best when you have your customer journey stages completely mapped out as we do with the Marketing RAMP®. That’s because when you know exactly where your customer is in their journey, you’re able to provide the most focused content.
For example, for those who sign up for your newsletter or opt-in for a free webinar, you can let them know you appreciate their attention by giving them another “free” gift that will help them get closer to their goals. This can be an educational eBook, special discount, or 5-minute consult.
Or, if they’ve made a purchase, perhaps it's a short thank you video, a personalized card, or small branded gift. Whatever it is, the more relevant and delightful content you can provide will result in more customer happiness, willingness to pay more, and enthusiasm to refer you to friends and peers..
I hope these end of year reflection questions have helped provide some clarity on where you can make improvements to your marketing plan in 2023.
This is my gift to you in the season of giving.
Try the Marketing RAMP® and change your world with a proven master plan.