The time of year is upon us to plan for 2020 budgets, leaving companies across southern Arizona planning for the dollars needed to accomplish objectives in the new year. But wait, what about marketing? This is a category that is often skipped, only to find that in many cases, it is one of the most integral pieces of the puzzle to a business or project’s success. So, how do you plan for that?
The Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you are doing less than $5 million a year in sales. Studies show that when implemented correctly, marketing drives revenue, rather than the reverse. Here are a few tips so you can get the most from your marketing dollars in 2020 and beyond.
Develop a Marketing Strategy. Define clear and achievable objectives for your business to reach in the coming year, then create an actionable plan on how to get there. This will help you develop an understanding of the resources you need to execute the plan.
Identify Your Target Audience with Market Research. In addition to your own data, keeping up with relevant industry publications, joining (and actively participating in) industry networking groups, or hiring a firm are all great ways of keeping your fingers on the pulse of your target audience.
Audit Your Branding. Branding is more than just a logo or social media presence. Your brand is the promise you make to your target market. Is your current brand an authentic reflection of who you are? Having a consistent, impactful brand presence can put you leagues ahead of the competition.
Breaking into the Local Scene. You’ve been in business for years and people know who you are, but the business seems stagnant. Why? It’s simple, humans are complacent. Although, they may have seen your brand, they’ve likely forgotten it. So, what do you do? Stay relevant by keeping active on the local level. Go to networking events, join clubs and activities that relate to your brand, or sponsor events that your target audience is engaged with.
Know and Own Your Online Presence. Be mindful of neglected web and social media channels. Many companies struggle with maintaining an appropriate and impactful online presence. Avoid that challenge by keeping your online channels up to date and engaging. Consider assigning the task to a specific individual within your company, or partner with an agency who can support your online presence in an impactful way for your target audiences.
When implementing these tips, don’t forget to track your progress, noting your results. This will help identify what worked and reveal areas of opportunity for the future, enabling you to better focus your marketing dollars each year.