With first quarter almost in the rearview mirror, now is the best time to review your marketing strategy for the year, from list management to your marketing budget plan. Waiting any longer could leave key budget dollars misspent, unspent or overspent. A first quarter review gives you the time to make necessary adjustments for a better ROI for the remainder of the year.
What should you specifically review?
By the end of first quarter, any direct mail or email sales campaigns are usually underway. We recommend reviewing and cleaning up your contact list, using the returns you receive from the post office and the reports from your email and online marketing campaign tool, like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.
First quarter is a good time to add new contacts to keep your list up to date and ensure that your prospects will receive your direct mail and emails. Removing old contacts avoids wasting budget on postage and hard costs trying to reach those who aren’t your target audience. Cleaning your digital lists avoids the risk of breaking opt-out regulations, as well as keeps your bounce rate down.
With list management under control, make it a point to contact your clients more often. We all have those friends or family members who only reach out when they want something. And, we all despise that. Marketing is your way to build relationships, which lead to sales. If you sporadically reach out via email or direct mail, try scheduling a routine. If you have a set routine, consider increasing touchpoints. For example, send a monthly newsletter instead of your usual quarterly one. Every time your customers and prospects hear from you is one more way you’re building a relationship.
Marketing Budget Plan
Barring any one-time investments in marketing tools or digital collateral, such as a website, your marketing budget plan has three months of results to analyze. If your social media campaigns are outperforming your pay-per-click ads or vice versa, adjust your marketing budget plan accordingly. If your marketing budget is funding channels that aren’t yielding results, funnel those dollars into a different channel. The nature of digital marketing lets you turn your marketing budget plan on a dime thanks to its real-time or next to real-time results.
Your competition, big and small, is a good source for new ideas. EAG Advertising & Marketing has been putting big brand strategies to work for more than 300 small businesses since 2003. Look at what they are doing that is working. Find out what isn’t. What blogs and posts are catching the attention of their followers? What isn’t? Learn from their experiences. If they are social media influencers, you might want to put marketing dollars toward your Facebook or LinkedIn page.
As marketing continues to change, your strategy has to change with it. Even if you feel stuck, it is time to learn some more, watch your competition, and make the necessary changes to have a successful business. This is especially important as you review your business in the first quarter and make any changes that you want to follow for the rest of the year.