As companies develop their marketing strategies, sometimes they overlook, ignore or dismiss high-potential opportunities that can later lead to regrets. In this context, regrets refer to that uncomfortable feeling we get when we think to ourselves, “If only I had…” or “I wish I had been more proactive with…” or “Why didn’t I do more for the sales team?”. To avoid these types of situations, consider this checklist as a guide to help you eliminate regrets and opportunity blinders.
5-Step Marketing Strategies Checklist
1. Invest heavily in marketing. A company’s bottom line relies on sales. Therefore, whatever the marketing department can do to support the sales team is crucial. A company that does not fully fund its marketing initiatives is not likely to achieve the success it seeks. Even during challenging economic times, look for creative ways to maintain and even build the marketing budget. Then make sure the marketing activities have the horsepower to generate the results the company expects.
2. Evaluate the frequency with which you reach out to your target audiences. In most cases, monthly is what’s minimally acceptable. Whether it’s through outbound emails, blog posts, press releases or other forms of marketing communications, it’s important for the sales team to know you are helping them communicate with their target markets. In addition, more frequent contact such as semi-monthly or weekly connections can noticeably increase visibility, credibility and name recognition for your company.
3. Add a content development specialist to your marketing team. Too often, outdated or redundant messaging is a weak link in the marketing process. If your content is not customer-centric and if the corporate branding is inconsistent, it detracts from the effectiveness of your outreach efforts. Think about what customers really need, what problems or challenges they have and the benefits and solutions you provide. Then, communicate that in a compelling, engaging way. Having one person responsible for the content development function streamlines the process.
4. Develop a multi-channel feedback platform. Prospects and customers want to know their concerns, challenges and ideas are important to you. They need to know they are being heard and that you are listening attentively. Look for new ways to connect with your target audiences via your website, marketplace surveys, customer conferences and other types of suggestion vehicles so that you build more meaningful relationships.
5. Review your marketing strategies plan monthly. A marketing plan that sits on the shelf is of no value. When companies review and evaluate their plans monthly, they have the information and data they need to know what’s working and what’s not. With that type of knowledge, marketers can make appropriate modifications and add strategies and tactics in response to changing needs and marketplace demands.
The goal of marketing is to support the sales team through a variety of outreach activities designed to identify prospects and convert them into customers. To do this effectively requires a “no-holds-barred” plan that incorporates blue-sky thinking, corporate buy-in, flexibility and adaptation. When you take this approach to your marketing strategies, you won’t encounter a year-end analysis that says, “What happened? Why didn’t we succeed?”