August 2, 2016
Your business just hit two years old. You’ve been able to achieve some growth, but after twenty-four months marketing still feels like a chore. It is unorganized and not spurring the results you were hoping for. Most businesses are started by operators who simply tolerate marketing because they heard that they need it at an entrepreneurship seminar. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Perform a marketing checkup right now and figure out what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong and what you’re not doing at all. This information will help form the basis of your marketing plan (Even if you already have one, you probably need a new one).
A marketing checkup (or audit as some people call it) will help you uncover new goals, reevaluate old goals and put you on the right foot towards a new marketing plan. A plan that you actually stick to.
- Here is where you refer to your marketing plan, if you have one. Look at the goals that you’ve outlined for yourself in your plan. This will give you a good framework to evaluate your marketing efforts over the last two years. Next, take a careful look at the section where you outlined your target audience. This is the step that 99 out of 100 marketing plans mess up. They write this section off the top of their head with no research. It is almost always based on assumptions. If you don’t have one, then think about your business. Think about who the target demographic that your business serves, or aims to serve. Write down everything you know about them and what your business does for them.
- Take a look at your branding. Now that you have customers, maybe employees and an actual business (things you didn’t have when you started), what do THEY think of your logo? It was exciting when you were starting out and I’m sure you really loved your logo, but now it is no longer hypothetical and you have to start basing your decisions on what your customers (and potential customers) like, not what you like.
- Now move on to your website. Ask yourself: What role is my website actually playing in my business? Is this something I put up because everyone needs a website? Or is it actually helping me reach my marketing goals? If not, decide what you’d like it to do.
- After you’ve analyzed your site, take a look at your social media profiles. Be honest: Are your profiles complete? Are your header/profile pics high resolution and properly sized? How many followers do you have? How much engagement are you driving? More importantly, what are you getting out of it?
- How often are you publishing content and how engaging is it? When you post a blog post, how many people read it? How many people are opening your emails and clicking through to something in it?
The key to this checkup is to figure out how many of your goals you are hitting and to uncover some ways to go about hitting the ones you aren’t. A marketing checkup is like your yearly doctor visit, it will just give you a snapshot of how effective your marketing is. It will give you a lot of key information that you can use to put together a sound strategy moving forward, based on data.
It is not just a good idea, it is necessary for you to grow your business to the next level. Blindly making moves based on hunches and assumptions might feel good, but it won’t move the needle.