Last year was, in general, a good for many businesses and 2019 is poised to be even stronger. To help make that happen, a well-designed plan – and a map to execute it – can be invaluable. There are a number of proven steps that have historically been shown to help businesses increase revenue and Ann Puig, long-time business owner and entrepreneur from Costa Rica, shares these insights.
Start by determining what the marketing goals are for the year. Decide on the overall revenue goals, the key metrics you will use to measure the success of the sales and marketing activity and which new products or services will be introduced to move the business forward.
“Before getting the marketing plan rolling,” says Puig, “make sure you have answered these questions. It’s understandable, and expected, that plans will change, but this will give you an excellent foundation upon which to build.”
A strategic plan created with the help of key people will allow the year to start strong. Create a client wish list – a list of the clients that you are most interested in working with – and then open dialogue with them to keep the business fresh in their mind.
Once you know the strategy, determine how it will be implemented. There are a number of marketing channels that can be used – pay-per-click advertising, email and social media marketing, public relations, web development and more – but the idea is to decide which work best for your organization. Take a look at what has worked best in the past and incorporate these, with some adjustments for the changing market, to ensure you have a solid plan.
Budget constraints will be a deciding factor in which channels will be implemented. Weigh what has been successful in the past against costs and be prepared to launch into those channels as quickly as possible.
Once you have your channels selected, don’t rely on old tricks when marketing – get more creative and add a personal touch to the content. Marketing that engages people is much more likely to draw more views than static, used material.
Another method is to create a new revenue stream. Attracting a new customer is more costly than retaining a current one. “Ask yourself if there is something you can offer that would be a natural fit for your existing customers. If so, create a new revenue stream that will result in more sales and more customer interaction,” explains Puig.
One of the last steps is to review the organization’s online presence at least twice a year. Asserts Puig, “Review the website, the Google Analytics, search engine optimization and every aspect of the virtual storefront to ensure that it functioning as you expect.” Don’t forget that the website, and all web portals, need to be optimized for mobile devices. According to most statistics, 70-80% of all consumers use mobile devices for purchases.
It’s not difficult to become overwhelmed by all aspects of creating a successful marketing plan. There are a lot of parts that have to be considered and dissected, but a well-designed plan and map are inherent to the success of the business. The world continues to evolve, just as do the habits of consumers. Without understanding how to appeal to their wishes, quirks and needs, it becomes much more difficult to attract new customers and keep current customers happy.