At the Chamber of Business, we’re always looking for ways to empower business owners with useful content. As such, today’s post will be on a topic we often get asked about. How do you plan a marketing strategy for the new year?
It’s a question that’s always on your mind as one year ends and another begins. After a busy Q4, you should start thing about a marketing strategy review to start afresh in January. Why is this important, how often are marketing reviews necessary and how do you do it? Don’t worry, we answer all the key questions down below:
Steps for Reviewing Your Marketing Strategy
Ultimately, the first step is to look at your performance targets or benchmarks for the current year. This will include the following:
- Sales figures
- New customer acquisitions
- Customer responses
- Return on investment
- Competitive performance
The list can be much longer, but these are examples of the sort of metrics you should be analysing. At the beginning of the year, you should’ve set expectations for each of the things that you wanted to achieve. Now, you have to go back and compare the results to your goals.
Did you achieve what you set out to? Did you overachieve? If so, you know your overall strategy was good. But, if you underachieved, you have to look at where and why this happened. Assess each individual aspect of your marketing campaign to figure out what went wrong.
Perhaps your social media campaign was a bit rocky. Maybe your SEO strategy was too weak as you didn’t meet your organic traffic targets and underperformed when compared to competitors.
Once you have looked at all of this, your second step is to come up with a plan to tackle your issues. What caused you to fall behind on your expectations, why did you have a lower level of customer satisfaction than you aimed for? You have to refine your current strategy leading into the new year with a focus on where you were lacking this year.
If there were positive elements of your current marketing strategy, they can stay as they are. The overall aim of a marketing strategy review is to take this year’s approach and build on it. Set new goals for next year and use your previous performance to figure out how to reach them.
It’s important to note that you can do all of this on your own or you can enlist the help of a digital marketing agency. This might feel like an added investment, but it can help to support your business by providing expert marketing advice and a deeper understanding of analytics.
Why is it Important to Review a Marketing Strategy?
Simply put, it lets you understand how effective your marketing strategy is.
Think of this like a performance review for your employees. You need to check their performance to ensure they’re meeting your standards and helping the business thrive. If they’re not, you can take action to help them improve or find alternatives – otherwise, your business will be held back.
It’s the same concept with a marketing strategy review. You are seeing if your strategy had the desired effect. If it didn’t, you can now take action before you waste more time and money. Reviews are essential for getting the most out of your marketing budget and ensuring you move towards your main targets for growth.
How Often Should You Review Your Marketing Strategy?
An annual review is a good way to see how you performed over the course of the year compared to your initial targets.
However, it’s smart to get into the habit of regularly reviewing your marketing strategy every quarter. Some businesses run monthly reviews, but the argument against this is that your strategies or campaigns could take longer to become effective. If you make new implementations, it might take longer than a month to see the results. So, a review every quarter with a final review at the end of the year is the smartest approach.
All in all, end-of-year reviews should focus on going back through your marketing techniques and seeing how effective each one was at helping you reach your pre-set goals at the beginning of the year. Identify any flaws or things that weren’t up to scratch, figuring out ways to improve them for next year.
Every business should be utilising marketing to boost both its online and offline presence. When was the last time you reviewed your marketing strategy? Here’s your sign to review it before the new year, so you’re prepared and ready to go!