Our Top 5 Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business

Branding, Marketing

How will you use marketing to grow your business?

Hopefully you’re as excited about marketing as we are. If you could use some tips and tweaks to freshen your approach or even if you need to start your marketing planning from scratch, we can help. Here are our top 5 marketing tips to help you hit the ground running this year!

1. Set annual marketing goals you can achieve

Apply the SMART strategy to your marketing goals. Are your marketing goals for the year:

  • Specific: Marketing goals that are clearly defined will help keep you moving forward. They will also help you set a clear action plan. Think about the who, what, when, where, and why of the goals.
  • Measurable: Set quantifiable and/or qualitative marketing objectives. Think about what kinds of metrics or data you’ll gather and how you’ll report throughout the year. Then if progress is off track, you can re-calibrate marketing efforts and still attain your goals.
  • Achievable: Establish annual marketing goals that you can meet through the work that you do every day, and with the resources you have on hand and the skills you and your team contribute or are able to build.
  • Relevant: Select marketing goals that support your overall business goals. Just because you could achieve something doesn’t mean it makes sense to do it if it now doesn’t align with what your entire company is working toward and prioritizing.
  • Time bound: Choose realistic target dates to achieve your marketing goals and then set milestones and action plans to help you track and make progress toward those goals.

If you applied a SMART strategy last year, review what worked and what didn’t work, then reset, rebuild, or remove them for your current year’s efforts.

2. Create a marketing plan

Now is a perfect time to either create a new or updated marketing plan. Even if you’ve been in business for years, take the time to review any old marketing plans, revise, and head into the rest of the year with a strong vision. Having trouble creating that vision? Start with your SMART goals and align with your business’s overall key objectives and the tasks to support them to kick things off right.

3. Update financials and marketing ROI

Key to SMART (and intelligent) marketing efforts is a strong working knowledge of the financials of your small business. Start a checklist and dig into an analysis that includes these questions:

  • Is your bookkeeping up to date and in good order?
  • Is your pricing still accurate or does it need an adjustment?
  • What was the return on investment (ROI) from your marketing work last year?
  • What worked and what needs to be adjusted?

Don’t limit yourself to looking at last year. Look back over the past five years and remember what worked in the past might not work, or it could actually be time to dust off your tried and true tactics for new gains.

4. Review industry economic and business trends

The world of business is moving as fast as the rest of our lives, so re-orient yourself with the big picture of what’s happening and then bring in the specific applicable trends for your business. Examine risks and opportunities from the overall global economy and then examine what’s happening in business news and trends nationally, regionally, and locally. Make a pros and cons list and think about how the current and near-future economic climate may challenge or reward your marketing efforts. Create contingency plans for the risks on the list. And add a section to your SMART goal based marketing plan on how to take advantage of the opportunities.

5. Check out our additional advice

Need more than just our top 5 marketing tips? We’ve got some more great marketing advice on a range of subjects like content marketing and how to effectively use social media. Struggling with brand basics? Take our self-guided 10-point brand assessment. We have you covered with ways to develop your brand, how to build greater brand consistency, and how to measure the value of your company’s branding. We even have tips to help you create the right tradeshow experience and how to generate more leads from tradeshows. For these and other helpful tips and hints, check out our blog on the Serff Creative Group website.

We hope our top five marketing tips help you get started on a better path to success!

For some inspiration about branding, take our free, self-guided, 10-Point brand assessment. It’s the brand process we use to help our clients bring clarity and consistency to their businesses.

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