If you don't plan ahead and get your business ready for the future you'll be constantly behind the game (and your savvy competitors). Thinking ahead is the way forward - it will allow you to make better business decisions and understand your market.
Review Marketing Data To Plan For The Future
It's important to review the past year so that you know which marketing strategies worked well and which didn't. If your business was present at trade shows and consumer events throughout 2018/9, do you know the results from each show? Which ones generated the most leads, sales or interest in your brand and product?
It's important to identify the most successful events in order to make informed decisions about which shows you should attend in 2020. It can lead a small business to book and attend the wrong shows that aren't giving their business any value, as well as missing the events that do hold opportunities for them. Or your small business may attend the right shows to reach it's audience, but without looking at the marketing data from previous years, will miss opportunities due to lack of planning.
For example, if a show takes place over 3 days and has thousands of attendees, your business doesn't want to run out of promotional giveaways after the first morning. How many people came to your stand in previous years? Make sure you have enough product to last for the entire show. Make it easy for customers to connect with your business after the show - ensure promotional giveaways clearly show your business website address and details of any special offers to entice them back for more information.
Or perhaps a retail store hosts a seasonal event showcasing stock for the new season. Was it popular with your customers and did it lead to extra sales in the long/short term? Or perhaps it generated valuable PR and helped to improve brand reach. Identify what your business gained/lost from each activity and the results on sales, leads and brand exposure.
Knowlege is power. If you don't know which marketing strategies worked for your business, how can you improve on results? Conversely, you'll also spend time and money on strategies that are ineffective for your business.
Planning Early Saves Money!
If you haven't planned marketing strategy for 2020 yet, it's time to get going. There are always benefits to planning early, particularly if you need to create content or marketing & promotional materials. Leave it too late and there either won't be time to create exactly what you wanted or it will cost more if you run out of time and have to choose express service & delivery options to get delivery on time.
If your business need a bespoke promotional bag for marketing campaigns, orders should be placed 12-14 weeks before the promotional bags are needed. There will still be options available if you order later (like print-on stock bags or express delivery services) but they will cost roughly a third more.
Another benefit is saving the added stress of creating a brief and approving designs with a tight deadline. Miss the deadline and you run the risk of not receiving marketing materials in time. So planning early also saves a great deal of stress!
There are many practical reasons why you should think ahead and get planning. If you don't your competitors will, so don't leave things to chance.
Is your small business ready for the future yet? Not to worry, there is still time! Read on for some great ideas to get you going.
Three Ways to Get Ahead with Marketing Strategy & Plans for Small Business
1. Talk and Collaborate
Take this opportunity to grab all relevant stakeholders and get their feedback on the year past and what they envisage for the year ahead. Marketing plans shouldn't be created in a bubble - get out there and talk to sales, product development and customer services. Everyone who can give you feedback on your customers and products is key to the process.
Keep communicating at all stages. Go back to stakeholders once your plan is complete and get their thoughts. Keep going back to them throughout the year
to review how your marketing strategies are working. Good communication will also improve their trust in you and make them more inclined to support
your marketing efforts - making the best recipe for success!
2. Use Historic Marketing Data
This has been touched on in the opening paragraphs of this blog. Think about what you learned in the past and apply it to future. There's no point making the same mistakes!
There is a mine of marketing data available such as Adwords results, Google analytics, customer feedback and whatever else you have to hand to make
informed conclusions on the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
3. Put Processes in Place and Review Regularly
Where could you improve? What gaps do you need to fill? Audit your current assets and work out what else you need. This will help you work more smoothly with other departments such as sales and customer services.
If you haven't started planning yet, use the coming weeks to start making plans for 2020 and identifying the urgent and important tasks going foward.
What steps has your small business taken to plan ahead and what have been the main benefits of doing so? We'd love to hear your thoughts so please reply via our social media channels. If you found this post useful, please do share it.
Require a custom printed Reusable Bag for your Small Business?
Allow 12-14 weeks for cheapest delivery options!