With marketing budgets being slashed and more things being brought “in-house”, many small business owners are having to add marketing to their collection of hats to wear. Many get overwhelmed and let it fall to the wayside and in turn watch sales plummet and budgets become smaller. This can be a very negative spiral for any company to fall into because continuing to build a business is just as important as maintaining it.
If you are in this boat and have decided to forge your own marketing without an agency or even a marketing director, let us offer you some advice!
Step 1: Create a Plan!
Decide which mediums you are going to use and how often; then set a plan for at least 3 months ahead. Consider things like web marketing (website, social media, seo…), email campaigns, special events, promotions, direct mail, broadcast, sponsorships, etc. Some will be ongoing marketing efforts and others will work alongside your ongoing marketing.
Step 2: Schedule it!
Decide who is going to handle each of your marketing tactics and get them scheduled. Depending on your chosen tactics, many can be done yourself or by someone in the company. Even with the smallest marketing budget, it is a good idea to include a unique marketing tactic or marketing medium each month. For example: send a postcard that ties in to next month’s special event and then follow up with an email reminder all while promoting through Facebook and Twitter.
Step 3: Implementation!
This is the get it done step. Whether it’s scheduling out some time to accomplish some items on your marketing plan or just following up with someone else who is taking care of it, you must take the initiative to follow through. Don’t be afraid to hire someone to handle specific marketing efforts. You have to be able to evaluate how much your time is worth along with the extent of your abilities and decide if hiring a professional will be more beneficial to you.
Step 4: Tracking!
This is the most commonly forgotten step of the marketing process but ironically, one of the most important. If you are not tracking your marketing efforts, then you have no way of knowing what is working and what is not. You are too busy to waste time and money on ineffective marketing, so take the time to track your results and decide what to put more effort into and what to drop.
We wish you the best in creating your own marketing campaign. And of course, please call March Direct Marketing for help with your direct mail and email campaigns or if you prefer to handle them yourself, we can supply the quality lists custom made for your target market!