For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as many organizations and nonprofits, the fourth quarter is prime time to develop your marketing strategy plan for the upcoming year. And it’s the same period when countless other priorities come calling.
Few, if any, business owners and managers are immune to the “many hats” syndrome. When multiple priorities are competing for your head
space, how can you ensure necessary
marketing planning and subsequent campaign
deployment aren’t overlooked as you budget that most precious commodity called, “time”?
- 1. Settle for less than a perfect strategy. In search of marketing perfection, many SMBs tend to overanalyze and then fall behind, never seeing their strategies get off the ground. Set your goal to be continuous improvement through consistent action. Resist the temptation to stop if you don’t see immediate results or to flit from one strategy to another while chasing the next marketing trend.
- 2. Put your marketing on “auto pilot.” With the right preparation, it’s possible to “automate” much of your marketing. Begin by thinking big picture. What does success look like for your business next year? What will your customers and prospects need to hear? And, when’s the optimum time to deliver any given message? Automation comes into play when you create layout templates upfront for regular email promotions or a series of postcard mailings distributed throughout the year. This allows you to quickly and easily drop in new offers or content as you go.
- 3. Add direct mail to your mix. For ease and economy, emails to customers who’ve opted in for ongoing communications are the workhorse of many marketing campaigns. Yet even the strongest digital marketers know the most powerful formula is a combination of channels. Capitalize on print’s tactile qualities by considering the many options in high-impact printing like textured finishes, thicker paper stocks, creative die cuts or engaging folds. Mission critical? Source a high-quality targeted list for lead generation, and keep your house data of current customers clean to avoid the expense of mailing to people who have moved on.
- 4. Enlist others to advocate for you. One of the most effective marketing tactics are referrals. Get the ball rolling by making it part of your sales process to say “thank you” on a regular basis with cards or notes. Then, it’s easier to ask satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with friends, colleagues and social networks.
Need help with your marketing strategy plan or execution of your marketing campaigns?
Let us know; American Speedy Printing can help.
Joe is passionate about helping SMBs. He’s spent the last 25+ years building the American Speedy Printing Marketing • Print • Mail brand – and sharing best practices and marketing trends with his customers. Through research, in-person visits and this blog, he hopes to engage with and empower local business owners and marketing professionals.