Achieving your marketing goals in 2012

To achieve better marketing results in 2012, it is important to measure it before managing it. A business’ marketing plan usually includes a full SWOT analysis, situation analysis, pricing policy, statement of USP and sales strategy. But before you plan your marketing for the next 12 months, here are a few quick questions to get you started to evaluate your last year’s marketing efforts:

  • What worked last year and what is the proof?
  • What results were generated and how do they compared with the plan?
  • If a strategy was successful last year, chances are it will work this year as well. But do the costs justify the results?
  • What did not work?
  • What was the most successful marketing strategy that generated the maximum sales?
  • Which critical tasks have the potential to impact your future marketing activities?
  • How effective was your social media marketing?
  • Did your website convert as expected?

Begin your evaluation by reviewing your past marketing activities and the results. To identify what worked, look at the activities that brought in the most clients, sales and profits and impacted your business in a positive way. This will help you direct your efforts on the activities that were effective and steer clear of those that were not. It is important to have a tracking system in place so that you measure the return on investment on each marketing activity.

Based on the above, you must consider exploring new marketing channels or platforms frequented by your target market and design marketing materials that help you reach your target market quickly and effectively.

Some of your marketing tasks to achieve better results in 2012 may be:

  • Revamp your newsletter, make it more engaging and increase/decrease its frequency
  • Add new pages to your website focused on new keywords and key phrases
  • Explore new niches to market your products
  • Use customer feedback to improve your customer service and create new products
  • Add a new social media network to your social media marketing strategy to increase engagement
  • If your target market spends most of its time on Facebook, consider creating a custom Facebook Fan page to engage with them there
  • If your customers are receptive to mobile marketing, consider developing an app for mobile devices

While evaluation must be a periodic process, the year-end evaluation should scrutinise the following areas:

  • Your budget vs. actual expenditure
  • The various marketing channels used
  • Target audience reached
  • Results in relation to your marketing goals in terms of lead generation, sales and brand promotion
  • Product and service strategies

The new marketing plan must define your marketing goals and factor in the results of last year, the current business environment and competition activity.

It all begins with a solid marketing plan with effective marketing strategies, regardless of the size of your business as this will help you track results and manage your marketing budget. An evaluation of last year’s results will enable you to make the necessary changes and come up with new strategies and goals for the next year.