Nothing is more frustrating than investing money, resources, and time into marketing and not reaching your desired results. If your strategy doesn’t seem to work, it may be time to create a new one. Check out this article for the inside scoop on how to achieve your marketing goals.
Your business can benefit immensely from a comprehensive marketing plan. However, sometimes your efforts may seem in vain. It’s frustrating when you put in all the work and get none of the reward. Believe me, I’ve been there, and the most important thing I’ve learnt is that you shouldn’t lose your enthusiasm or get discouraged. Marketing is constantly evolving – there are always new channels to explore and new approaches to consider. The trick is to be open to experiment different strategies and be persistent when it comes to measuring results and making adjustments when necessary.
The numbers look grim: a study states that over 70 percent of marketing specialists failed to deliver the business results management expected in 2013. There are many factors that can prevent a marketer from effectively doing their job, from unrealistic expectations to poor execution of an otherwise great strategy. Plus, it’s easy to lose track of your objectives in the marketing world. Tending to customers, handling employees, and dealing with day-to-day business operations usually take a big chunk of a marketers’ time. Keeping your eye on the prize, though, is key to effectively market and grow a business. To make things easier, I’ve gathered four tips that will help you streamline operations and increase your chances of finally reaching marketing goals.
1. Set Achievable Objectives
The first thing you need to do to reach your marketing goals is to make sure that your goals are, indeed, achievable. There are several strategies you can use to do this. First off, there’s the S.M.A.R.T. criteria – it ensures your objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Alternatively, you can use Locke and Latham’s five principles of goal-setting: clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback, and task complexity.
Whichever technique you choose, the important thing to remember is that you need to be objective and realistic when setting your marketing goals. Unfortunately, pressure from management can easily lead you to over-promise, so you must also learn how to manage executives’ expectations. This one is still a work-in-progress for me, but you can find some useful tips on the subject here.
2. Get to Know Your Target Audience
To effectively market to your target audience, you need to know who your customers are and what issues they’re currently dealing with. As a marketer, it’s critical that you determine who and where your audience is, in order to determine the best way to reach them. While some products and services appeal to a wider audience, others target a more specific market.
Use market research to find out as much about your target customers as possible. Find out where they like to hang out online, what ads they respond to, what emails they’re more likely to open. Once this phase is over, it will be much easier to come up with a marketing plan.
3. Craft a Compelling Strategy
Your marketing strategy is the plan that will help you achieve your goals and objectives. It outlines how a product/service will be promoted to your target audience and, used right, it will help you drive brand awareness and increase sales. Your action plan should consider the budget you have at your disposal and lay down tasks you must perform each day/week/month. Research what your competitors are doing and what the norm from the industry is and start from there, but don’t be shy to try something new as well every once in a while.
Your strategy should let you know when you’ll be placing banners in targeted areas, invest in social media reach, or push PPC ads. Make sure each of these methods has a tracking mechanism, like a personalized URL or coupon code, so that you can measure the audience’s response. Don’t forget to craft a content strategy as well, since content marketing has become essential to a digital marketing strategy in the last few years. inSegment, a digital marketing agency from Boston, has a great blog post on the subject, here.
4. Measure Results
Once you start implementing your strategy, find a way to track and measure results. Each month, set aside a day to analyze the results of each marketing campaign and use this data to tweak future ones to perform even better. For a few tips on how to measure your marketing efforts, take a look here.
See also: 5 Marketing Tips for Startups
The bottom line? Thoroughly track your results and don’t be afraid to try something different when a certain strategy just doesn’t pan out. Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and what works today may not bring in desired results later on. Be ready to go with the flow.