I know that it’s a little late to be thinking about your 2014 marketing strategy, but for many, the first quarter of a calendar year is still the “waiting period” for marketing and advertising investments, with planning foremost on the docket. It’s the second quarter when many small businesses and non-profits enter the game.
However the ebb and flow of your organization works, it’s always important to have a yearly comprehensive look and evaluation of your marketing strategy.
What I’m talking about is for you to take a half-day or so to list every avenue of marketing that you use, and put a dollar amount of what that line item has cost you. Write down everything: all your printed material like brochures and business cards, mailings and email blasts, broadcasting, print and outdoor advertising, trade shows and donations and sponsorships, online search and social, news releases and blogs. Try to pin down what each marketing channel costs you in a year.
Then list the streams of marketing and advertising that you would like to begin, and what you might spend there. Add up the numbers and see where you are.
The next step, which is more difficult, is to estimate the return on investment from each of those streams. From there you can do some significant decision-making on where to move money around, increase or even decrease budgets, to more practically align what you are doing on the marketing side of your business and how it connects with the year-end goals of your organization.
This is a great exercise to do every year, especially around budget time. It’s the first step to creating a comprehensive strategic marketing plan; you need to know where you are before you decide where you are going. Let us know if we can help.