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Jan 08 2013

3 Resolutions to Improve Your Marketing in 2013

2013 marketing planTis the season to be making resolutions! While your setting personal goals to workout more, read more and eat less junk food, take a moment to consider your professional goals. If you’re a small business owner or independent contractor, your professional goals should include some specific resolutions about marketing. If you want your business to grow in 2013, you’ll have to make marketing a priority. If you’re looking for ways to improve your marketing this year, consider setting, and accomplishing, these resolutions.

Resolve to be consistent.

Inconsistency is one of the primary reasons marketing campaigns fail. People send out a couple mailings, run just a few ads, or post a couple times to Facebook and when they don’t see immediate results, they give up. However, studies have proven time and time again that people must repeatedly see an ad before they will act on it. In 1885 Thomas Smith wrote a book called Successful Advertising. In it, he breaks down the typical reaction a person has when he sees an ad the first time, second time, third time, etc. According to Smith, a person usually has to see an ad 20 times before taking action.

Of course, there are other factors that influence action and repetition won’t work on every single recipient. But the more times someone sees an ad, the more likely they are to act. Maybe the first time they saw your ad they didn’t need a house cleaning service, but on the 7th time around they find themselves in need of a new cleaning service. Perhaps recipients had never heard of your company and therefore, didn’t trust you enough to do business. But after reading 15 mailing pieces they feel more familiar with your company and are willing to do business with you. Repetition works, so resolve to be more consistent in your 2013 marketing efforts.

Resolve to analyze.

I’ll be honest, analytics are my least favorite part of marketing. I love thinking of creative marketing ideas and implementing them, but once that’s done I want to move on to the next thing. I don’t want to pour over a bunch of data and statistics to see if the idea was a success. But unfortunately, analyzing the campaigns is just as important as creating and implementing them. Without analytics, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. You don’t want to waste time and money on practices that aren’t working.

There are hundreds of different ways to analyze different types of marketing strategies. I could, and soon I will, write a series of blog posts about specific ways to gather and look at marketing data. But for the sake of this post, I’ll keep it basic. For every campaign and marketing strategy, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many people saw and/or heard this specific marketing?
  • What call to action was being promoted in the marketing?
  • How many people responded to the call to action?
  • How much money was spent on the campaign?
  • How much money was made?

Obviously, you want people to see your campaign and take action on it, and you want the campaign to make more money than it cost. Of course their are exceptions to these rules (social media campaigns often build loyalty rather than bring in sales and are very hard to measure). But those are the general guidelines for determining a successful campaign.

Resolve to try something new

Marketing is an ever changing beast. In order to stay a step ahead of your competition, you’ve always got to find new ways to attract clients’ attention.  While it’s important to stick with the tried and true methods, it’s equally as important to branch out and try something new. Maybe 2013 will be the year you start blogging or paying serious attention to your Facebook page. Or perhaps you’ve been doing a lot of digital marketing and this year you’d like to try some more “old school” methods like direct mail marketing. We have a lot of clients that send out post cards regularly, but this year they may want to spice things up by sending die cut cards, magnets or lumpy mail that will really attract attention.

Whatever new methods you try, keep these two things in mind. First, don’t try too many new things at once. Pick one or two new marketing ideas and invest in making those as successful as possible. Second, analyze your new marketing strategies. If they are working, keep using them. If they aren’t, ditch them and move on to another new idea.

Do you have any other marketing resolutions that you’ve made for 2013? Please share them in the comments below!

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