Posted on: August 2, 2019
The summer break is a good time for many businesses to catch their breath, review progress and think more clearly about the months ahead. Marketing and business development (BD) activities always benefit from a periodic review – especially when it prompts fine-tuning to any changing market conditions.
So, here’s a handy checklist of some marketing and BD things to think about this summer.
1. Which of our marketing and business activities have worked well over the past 7-8 months?
If you look over this time period you should see the longer term impact of campaigns or approaches and be able to judge their effectiveness. Be clear and specific about what ‘worked well’ really means for your business and its stakeholders when you evaluate. For example, it may reflect a certain volume of enquiries, an amount of specific product/service sales, visits to your website, engagement (likes/shares/comments) to specific social content you’ve created. There’s no right or wrong measure here, it will be dependent on your business and the objectives/goals you originally set for each activity.
2. Which activities didn’t work well during that time?
In the same vein you should also consider those activities which didn’t deliver as you’d hoped. The important thing here is to understand why. Were you reaching the right audience? Was your proposition, messaging or offer right for them? Find out as much as you can about the why before you decide whether to fine-tune the approach going forward or cull the activity in future plans.
3. Do our content marketing and social media efforts still make commercial sense?
Most businesses feel they have to be present on social media – particularly if their rivals are. Each social network, done well, requires time and effort to feed it and remain current, and in turn attract interest. It’s therefore important to review how your social media efforts are performing.
Don’t just look at follower numbers when you do this. Drill more deeply at the types of people who are following you (do they echo your ideal follower/customer?), the amount of engagement you receive for your posts (likes, comments, shares) and the enquiries or dialogue your social media activity prompts with potential customers or other important contacts.
Armed with the results of this information, look to worthy rivals or other similar businesses who appear to have greater success on social. How do their posts differ from your own, what themes are they covering? Can you adopt any of this in your own approach? Also look at some examples of your ideal followers. What content are they most engaging with? Can you create this too?
4. What pages on our website are popular and which are not?
For many businesses their website is a key marketing and sales asset. It’s therefore important to periodically check how it’s doing. Aside from overall visitor numbers, it’s also important to assess their behaviour on your site – what pages they most or least engage with, bounce rate etc. Looking at this information will enable you to fine tune underperforming pages and help boost their popularity, it will also give you a steer on how to create other good content from what’s doing well.
Do be sure to also tidy up your site, removing out of date content, so it continues to look fresh and engaging. And don’t forget to test it is still working well on different browsers and devices, and all your contact forms and points work as they should. Use free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to help.
5. What common questions have customers been asking our sales and customer service teams?
Responding to current customer concerns and tastes always make commercial sense. Find out what these are by asking your sales and customer service teams what common questions they’re being posed by customers. The questions and your organisation’s answers can be a great source of inspiration for future marketing activities and materials.
6. What changes are on the horizon in our target markets
Finally, whilst a lot of these questions focus on looking back it’s also important to look ahead if you want your organisation to have a successful and amazing Autumn. A key thing to consider is what this Autumn will bring in your target markets? What will people be doing, enjoying, looking forward to, focused on or worried about? Talk to existing customers about their thoughts on what lies ahead, or see if your sales team have picked up on any emerging sentiment.
Also see if any market issues (such as new legislation, changing practices/buyer behaviour) are being predicted in relevant sector or business press for your markets. Armed with this insight you can prepare highly focused marketing and business development activities which are 100% relevant and timely in the coming months.
For more advice on marketing your business contact us or tel. 01483 429111.