2014 Company To Do List

Growing a business is challenging. Changes in the marketing environment are happening faster than ever before. Customer expectations are evolving as new technology empowers people. The companies with the best customer relationships have a competitive edge. Developing those relationships requires an understanding of your community so you can provide solutions to real problems.

The New Year is an excellent time to make changes. People have been trained to expect updates and adaptations when the calendar rolls over. Use this opportunity to create and implement a plan that improves relationships and solidifies your company’s position as a market leader. Here are some objectives to get you started:

  1. Complete an Audit of Your Marketing Strategy – Most marketing plans in place today have evolved over time. Tactics and channels that worked well in the past lose effectiveness as the marketplace changes. Performing a complete audit of your marketing strategy highlights areas that need revision or elimination. The audit must be objective to be effective. If your marketing team is too enamored with specific areas to provide that objectivity, bring someone in from the outside.
  2. Improve Your Customer and Prospect Segmentation – Providing relevant content to the people participating in your communities is the best way to keep them active. An in-depth knowledge of their needs and expectations is needed along with an efficient delivery system. Good segmentation makes the process easier and more effective. It also contributes to finding new opportunities to serve customers and grow your business.
  3. Find New Channels and Platforms – Your customers and prospects participate in a multitude of channels and platforms. The obvious ones are not always the most effective place to market. Dedicate some time to find and test new places. This expands your marketing reach and opens doors your competitors may have missed. Without a clear initiative to research the marketplace, another year will pass with missed opportunities.
  4. Get Creative with Traditional Marketing – Old school marketing tools are still effective. Direct mail, telemarketing, and email continue to acquire customers and deliver sales. You could stay the course and still get good results. Or, you could get creative and find new ways to use traditional marketing to connect with customers. Challenge your marketing team to find better ways to solve problems using proven tactics.
  5. Become a Multi-channel Multi-screen Marketing Powerhouse – Accessibility to your company across multiple channels with multiple screens is a necessity. Start by identifying how people access your competitors today and compare the results with your accessibility. This provides a starting point for planning your improvement project. The easier you make it for people to contact with your company the more likely your sales will increase.
  6. Create a New Social Media Strategy – Your current social media strategy may be effective today but that won’t last. Changes in the channel are already affecting marketing results. Don’t wait until platforms have become ineffective to create a new strategy. Having the plan in place before it is needed keeps the ever evolving channel from undermining your marketing efforts.
  7. Improve Your Marketing Analytics – Data is readily available. High-quality analytics have to be derived from a sea of data. Invest resources in acquiring and using actionable information that can be used to grow your business. Data acquisition for the sake of comparison has little value if the information acquired is it used to improve marketing and service.
  8. Tear Down the Walls Between Marketing and Service – Seamless customer experiences require marketing and service departments to work together. Start by improving the exchange of information and rewarding interdepartmental cooperation. Customers and company win when barriers are removed and trust is established.