Every company has expectations for what they can achieve with their marketing efforts, but oftentimes, those expectations may be unrealistic. Whether these expectations are “too high” or even “too low,” unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and even additional spending.
A key to success in marketing your company is to be proactive. Take your time to create a solid plan to follow throughout the year. Not sure how to start—here are some tips for managing your expectations, creating a solid plan, and getting the most out of your marketing budget:
- Start With Objectives – Using a set of objectives or goals as the basis of a marketing campaign or overall plan will ensure everyone involved has the same expectations moving forward. So what do you hope to achieve in 2015? If you can get everyone involved to agree on a specific set of objectives, you will have a solid foundation to start building a custom plan with tactics to meet each objective. Be careful not to commit to objectives that are out of your reach. Everyone would like to see a 50% increase in revenue, but is that a realistic goal for your company? It’s more productive to focus on measurable objectives that can lead to increased overall awareness and sales, such as increasing traffic at a company event/tradeshow, educating the regional market about your services or building your mailing list.
- Campaign Strategy – While marketing tactics can be used to increase overall awareness, those specific tactics must be used in conjunction with an overall strategy and a strong creative platform. Without an overall strategy for how to reach your objectives and your target market, all marketing tactics will be lost, and your budget could be wasted. A strong overall strategy for the creative messaging you will adapt and how you will present your products or services to your target market is vital to a specific marketing campaign or overall plan.
- Multiple Avenues – In order to meet your objectives you may need to use various mediums to support your overall strategy and promote your total message. This means you may have to commit to more than simply running one advertisement at a time. Make sure you consider all of the online, print and push messaging options available to meet your goals.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Raising awareness is a tedious process that will not happen overnight. In order to be successful you must use repetition of the chosen tactics. The more your message is received by your target market, the more successful you will be in reaching your goals. Furthermore, the more your message is delivered, the easier it will be for your current or potential customers to think of your company when they are ready to purchase goods or services.
- Don’t Forget Traditional Sales Tactics – In addition to developing a strategy, utilizing multiple mediums and increasing repetition, a company cannot forget to develop more traditional sales tactics. Marketing campaigns alone cannot close sales or get customers to leave their current providers. Instead, the marketing strategy should be used to supplement the sales initiatives already in place.
Being a successful marketer can be extremely overwhelming, which is why the savviest companies leave it to the experts. If you are going to go at it alone, make sure you have realistic expectations, otherwise