Here we are in September – it usually means one thing for a large part of the population – BACK TO SCHOOL! September always brings back memories of the “first day of school”; exciting in some years, dreadful in others!! As an entrepreneur and small business owner, it is now a reminder of a “new start”, mostly, it motivates me to think: “back to basics”.
It’s a good time to think about how your small business marketing plan is coming along. What’s working? What isn’t? What needs adjusting?
A small business marketing plan is more than just a tweet, a Facebook post”, some Instagram images or an email campaign. It’s an integration of many channels focused on delivering a clear message to your target audience. A small business marketing plan has one over-arching goal: get the word out about your product/service and brand. (you thought it was sales, didn’t you?!). If you get the “word out” effectively, sales will follow.
In my professional and personal experience, metrics (and analysis of those metrics) are what drives people and motivates change in our everyday life. For example:
- Exercise – How long does it take you to run 10K? How much faster do you want to run it?
- Lifestyle – Is that diet you are following working for you? How much weight did you lose?
- Education – How well do you know algebra? What was your grade on the final exam?
Successful Small Business Marketing Plans Have One Thing in Common…
Like everyday life, metrics in business allow us to adjust to whatever we might be doing. Although every profitable small business marketing plan is unique, they all have one thing in common – a metrics mechanism. A successful marketer creates a small business marketing plan that always has a mechanism in place to measure the success of the plan, whatever the goals of the plan might be; yet this is one of the most common mistakes made by small business owners. Sales are the ultimate measurement, but you won’t know what component of your plan is working best (and leverage more of) and what isn’t, if you don’t have some measurement in place.
Remember, marketing is more than just pens and t-shirts! It’s an investment in your business with a goal to get the “word out” and as a result, generate sales. Like every investment you make in your life, there is a measurement of return. You can have the best [fill-in the blank] in the world, but if no one knows about it, it won’t mean much. Get back to basics, measure how your marketing plan is doing and make any adjustments.