In our last blog, we discussed preparing to run a marketing strategy workshop. But if you stop at preparation, you’ll never hold that all-important meeting! Now we’d like to talk about the actual workshop. In this blog, you’ll learn how to revamp your marketing strategy by learning what worked in the past and setting new goals for the future.
Spend Some Time in the Past
It’s time to face some facts: you might not have met all of your goals last quarter or last year. Take some time to honestly assess your past goals and performance. You may have met some goals and missed the mark on others. This might not be a fun conversation, but it’s necessary if you’re going to move forward.
Goals You Accomplished
Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back. Hitting your target means you’ve discovered something that works. Identify the path you took to accomplish this goal. After all, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Recreating what has worked will set you on the path to success in the future.
When You Didn’t Hit Your Target
Honesty is the best policy. Adjusting your key performance indicators (KPIs) so it looks like you hit your target this year isn’t helping anyone. Instead, spend some time to pick apart your goal and discover where you went wrong. Some things may have been out of your control, such as budget, consumer need, or product performance – but this does not account for all of your problems. You may have set unrealistic goals, or you may not have put as much effort into your marketing as you said you were going to. No matter what your problem, learning from failure can help you to set realistic goals and grow in the future.
What Was the Return on Your Investment?
When your marketing team is juggling many different marketing channels and tactics, it’s important to make sure that they’re all providing value. What channels have been the most valuable for you? Review your analytics to compare data from the following traffic sources:
- Paid search
- Social media
- Other channels specific to your business
Go through each channel and crunch the numbers. Which ones performed well? Which seem to be taking more resources than their returns can justify? Use these results to trim weak links and double down on what’s working. An important note: channels can bring value even if they do not directly bring in customers. For example, social media creates brand awareness around your niche product or service. Consider the value that each channel provides to your customers before deciding to let it go.
Look to the Future
Now that you know what has (and hasn’t) worked for you in the past, you have a deeper understanding of your own marketing. It’s time to put that understanding to good use and to start planning your new marketing strategy.
Set New Goals
Don’t make the same mistakes you made in the past. Your new goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Some of the most common goal-setting mistakes that we see include:
- Lofty goals. Instead of pulling a number out of the air, go through your historic data to pick a reasonable target. A 15% increase in leads sounds good on paper, but analytic data may show that a 2% increase is more realistic.
- Broad goals. “Get more leads sounds” like a great plan, but your team will have no idea how to execute this task. Rephrase it as, “By the end of Q4 we want to increase the conversion rate for Service X ebook downloads by 20%.”
- Changing your goals. Give yourself a 2 week grace period in the beginning of your strategy execution to determine if your goal is achievable. After that time frame, don’t touch your goal, no matter how tempting it is.
- Broken processes. It pays to take a step back and reevaluate your internal processes. Are you duplicating efforts? Do you have meetings that could be done in a chat room instead of a conference room? Improving your team’s efficiency may help with your goal, no matter what it is.
Commit to Content
You’ve developed your goals: now how are you going to meet them? It’s time to think about your content. How will you reach your personas? How will you prove to them that you have the solutions to their problems? Have your team brainstorm some content ideas. Will you be posting a weekly blog, creating how-to videos, or producing podcasts? Don’t just think about the information your personas need, think about how they want it to be presented.
When you’ve come up with some ideas, commit to a content calendar. Of course, this is just a start – you can add to your calendar later, but make sure you have a content strategy that is designed to help your personas. Be sure to consider the time, effort, and budget it’s going to take to execute on this content strategy. If you can’t afford to create three videos a week, don’t say you’re going to.
When you’ve developed your new marketing strategy, it’s time to carry it out. Stick to the strategy you’ve developed, and be sure to measure your progress. There are many important metrics that can help you monitor whether or not you’re on track to meet your goals. Pay attention to them and adapt; while you don’t want to change your goals, you may need to change your marketing tactics in order to reach them.
Developing a strong marketing strategy should always be your first step. If your company is struggling with any part of this process, New Perspective can help. We’d love to talk to your team and develop a marketing strategy that is as unique as your company.