Our occasional alternative look at things from Andrew Leon Walker of Walker-Riley…
Business is going well enough. You’ve either achieved, or are well on the way to achieving, this year’s revenue targets and business objectives. These results were driven by the actions directed in your documented marketing strategy. This strategy aligned all of your activities with your goals and objectives, allowing easier decision making and ensuring:
- Key messages explaining how you add value were targeted with precision towards your clearly defined audience;
- The content on your fully optimized website answered all of the questions your visitors had at each stage of their buying journey;
- Your content marketing plan was fully integrated with your social media activities and managed through an editorial calendar;
- Your content distribution and promotion plan considered all aspects of owned, earned and paid media;
- You had a strong, optimized digital footprint and were easy to find;
- Your marketing processes ensured it was easy for your clients to do business with you and fully supported your sales team by generating and nurturing leads to become sales ready;
- You were monitoring and analyzing your activities on a regular basis and continually improving your output.
If you did all this, job well done. However, like most businesses we talk to, you could have achieved more but maybe you didn’t have a written marketing plan to guide you or you were starved of time and the skills and resource you needed. You didn’t know:
- Your best performing marketing channels;
- Which marketing activities were bringing in the best results;
- Why your customers buy from you (and not the competition);
- Where you can find more customers like them;
- Where your competition are stealing your market share;
- The internal issues and external trends adversely affecting growth.
Most businesses seem to face the same problems. But you have a choice. You can carry on doing more of the same, spending more of your budget on the same old activities, not knowing what’s working and what isn’t – or you can draw a line in the sand.
A marketing health check can help you understand and improve the effectiveness of your marketing activities by auditing, researching and analysing your marketing environment to make sure current activities are bringing in the returns you need.
A marketing health check takes time, effort and know-how. Most businesses skip it to focus their activities at the tactical level for short-term gains. But this is a big mistake. A better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t enables you to focus resources on the most appropriate channels and programmes.
Improving results doesn’t always come down to spending more money, it’s about being smart about how and where you spend your budget, ensuring your processes are aligned with your objectives and looking for ways to continually improve results and reduce risks.
Once the bottlenecks, pinch points and barriers to growth have been identified you can create a sustainable, tailored marketing plan to deliver your marketing goals and objectives.
Before you spend any more of your marketing budget on more of the same, find out if your current marketing activities are really delivering.
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