One-off marketing tactics are easy to implement and execute which is why they're popular with small companies. To be sure you're delivering the most value for your efforts use the checklist below to find simple improvements to increase the power of your promotions and turn everyday marketing into powerful tools that unite company and customer goals.
Target - Review the basics of the campaign: Who, What, Where, When, Why. Has your target changed over time? How about their habits outside of their interactions with you? How about the "How"? The adoption of smartphones and tablets is changing a lot about people’s online browsing habits…
Product -The “Four Ps” of marketing are Product, Packaging, Promotion and Price. All of these are related to product (especially the first one). Are tune-ups available or in order in any of these areas?
Competition – It’s easy to see who opens a new location across the street or to spot a new face at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, but what about new competitors online in or in a neighborhood you don’t often travel through? Have you considered the Hoover’s Near Here app? It acts as a great sales lead tool too.
Message – Are you speaking to solving the customer’s problem rather than how your product/service works? (Sell the benefits, not the features – this can be hard for us prideful small businesspeople!) Is the call to action clear? Are your marketing, advertising and sales materials fresh or suffering from wearout?
Media – It took 100 years to give us the four options of newspapers, TV, radio, and outdoor. In the last fifteen years we’ve added how many websites?? Social media can seem daunting, but think of it as old-fashioned networking. Now we simply glad hand online. Get out there are introduce yourself. Or if you are out there, be sure to say something clever, sweet, helpful and ideally memorable.
Feedback – How do you hear back from your customers? Salespeople? Staff? Are you asking vendors for their thoughts and ideas and what their other clients (likely your competitors) are doing? Are delivery drivers hearing of problems you’re not aware of? Is there a regular and formalized process to receive information from all the stakeholders surrounding your business?
Mission – Why do you do what you do? This can refer to mission marketing (aka cause marketing – supporting a good cause), as well as the company’s general mission statement. Does everyone inside and outside the company know that? People love to support a cause and to support others who believe in a cause.
Measurement – Work smarter not harder is a longstanding truism. It’s much easier to practice the concept when we know what’s working. Online marketing efforts are easiest to track, but with some creativity traditional advertising can be measured too. There’s always the old, “How did you hear about us?” Measurability (is that word? Spellcheck thinks not) can apply to almost all our efforts. Time is the new money. Is what we’re doing working? Just by knowing what efforts pay off, we’ll automatically move in that direction, thereby increasing our productivity without much thought.
Future/Plans/Next Steps – Holy cow, it’s tomorrow already. Retailers are accustomed to thinking one season ahead (about three months). It’s a good habit. Twelve weeks can fly by. What’s on deck? Competitor and marketplace changes often make us move even faster than we’d planned. Do you have a plan, or at least a plan to plan?