Marketing Tune-up: Yearly Marketing Review Tips

Starting a new year is a great time to do many activities such as cleaning out storage space, updating office equipment or furniture, looking at last year’s accomplishments and the upcoming year’s improvements.

Ending one year and beginning a new is also a good time for reflections about current business practices and is the perfect time to improve, enhance or replace what worked or did not work in the marketing and public relations departments.

Marketing Resolutions

The Home Business magazine (written by Eisen Management Group) suggests five areas to tune-up the marketing and public relations activities of “Every Small Business Owner” including:

  1. Performing a communications audit.
  2. Surveying your existing customers.
  3. Setting benchmarks before setting a budget.
  4. Finding a community relations outlet.
  5. Doing something different next year.

A communications audit involves looking at every piece of advertising or other materials used to promote a company including business cards, letterhead, sales presentations, sales letters, press releases and advertisements. What are the messages being sent? Do the messages relate to what your business is and does today or 10 years ago?

It is difficult to be objective when looking at communications pieces; the article suggests asking outside professionals to take a look and summarize the good, the bad, and the effective.

Survey Your Customers

The end of the year or the beginning of a new year really is a good time to ask your customers for suggestions or improvement in the marketing messages. You can easily buy an online survey from the numerous online survey companies or just send an email to all of your customers asking a few questions.

All companies claim to want to hear from their customers about what the company did right and what the company can do to better itself. What better way to prove you are listening to your customers than to ask them for input?

Marketing Budgets

Look at the marketing mix used during the past year and determine what worked and what didn’t hit the mark. Then look at where the dollars went and that will help you determine where to spend the money during the next year.

So many companies keep doing the same type of marketing or public relations activities because the people involved at the company like doing those particular activities. But, did they work? And, do you want to spend more money on something that did not work?

Start the year by finding where you got the biggest bang for the buck.

Community Relations

Community involvement is one of the great motivators for employees. Getting involved in a local, regional or national charity or non-profit will help employees give back to the community. And, most employees appreciate the opportunity to be involved.

Being community related also increases the marketing message and the public relations of any size or type of company. Always select community causes that employees, management and ownership believe in and support.

New Year, New Marketing

Take the time to review some of the new marketing tools available and select one or two that would be good to implement. This year, your company might start to produce and distribute podcasts or make a commitment to online social networking.

There may be more time spent on the new activities at the start, nonetheless keeping it new keeps it fresh and exciting.

Marketing Resolution

This year is the time to make a resolution to review marketing and public relations at every year-end or at the start of every new year. If there are other areas you feel a new year would be a good time to review beyond the five listed here, add them to your list and this could be the one resolution you’ll keep.