Today’s marketplace is far different than even just a few years ago. New and emerging technologies continue to change the media landscape, and purchasers continue to change their attitude and how they make buying decisions. These are all factors that can affect your company’s ongoing success. This makes it even more important for you to take a good hard look at your marketing initiatives regularly. In order to move forward, you must consistently evaluate and update your B2B marketing strategies, programs and processes.
5 Key Marketing Initiatives To Evaluate
- Goals and Objectives
The very first place you should start is with your overall goals and objectives – not only for your business, but specifically for your sales and marketing initiatives. A key thing to remember here is that any previous plans you have set may no longer be appropriate moving forward. By assessing how your brand has evolved over the past year, and also how your target audience has evolved, you will be able to determine if your goals are still relevant.
Strategy is essential. Questions you should ask yourself: Is it reasonable in today’s marketplace? Is it feasible within your budget? Does it reflect the behavior and attitude of your target? When you focus on these issues you can create a plan that will best set you up for success.
While reviewing and renewing budgets is a task on every company’s to-do list, it is not uncommon to get stuck in a habit of just “doing what you have always done” with no regard for results or shifts in the marketplace. Unfortunately, this mentality can be just as detrimental as doing nothing at all. Is your budget real, for today?
As you prepare your budget, make a point to really evaluate the key points of your budget and assess if it is time to adjust. This may mean increasing or decreasing overall budget numbers, or shifting your spending across specific areas and re-allocating dollars to focus on different initiatives.
Remember to open up your thinking and take a look at your overall sales and marketing budget as a whole, AND also for the individual buckets of spending within your marketing program to make adjustments where needed to get you in line with your objectives.
- Media Plans and Strategies
The media landscape is ever-changing – with new technologies and trends constantly emerging and existing media platforms continuously evolving. This means that there are more opportunities to reach prospects than ever before.
Smart marketers are the ones who adapt to these changes, by creating a media strategy that reaches across multiple touch-points – utilizing a variety of media channels. It is essential to evaluate your own media mix to make certain it is in line with this thinking.
- Overall Brand Image and Messaging
When is the last time you actually took a step back and took a good hard look at your brand from an outsider’s perspective? Maybe you’ve been around for generations, and never thought about updating your brand identity because it well-known. Maybe you are a relatively new company who just established its identity. Either way, things change pretty quickly. And in today’s constantly evolving online, social and interactive world, you need to keep up.
So now ask yourself: how is your brand doing right now? Are you portraying the right image and sending the right message? Evaluate things like your website design (its look and feel), your logo, and your advertising or marketing in general (both creative and sales-supporting). Next review your messaging—both online and off—and really think about what it is saying. Does it speak to your current audience in a way that is relevant to their mindset and behavior? How about the overall content on your website, social sites, and marketing material …is it up-to-date? Have you made adjustments to reflect the changes that have affected your community? Take a look at these things individually, and as a whole, and consider if it is time to do some re-vamping or re-tooling to get where you need to be.
- Direct Marketing
In today’s fast-moving society, reaching prospects with messaging that is targeted to their needs is essential for increasing conversions. And direct marketing is a great way to do this. Direct can be a smart addition to your marketing mix to help reinforce your brand, encourage immediate action, and, most importantly, stay top of mind with customers so that when they are ready to act—or know someone who is—yours will be the first company they think of.
Cost-efficient, timely, easily segmented, and trackable, direct marketing can build interest and awareness, educate on key details of your brand, support your other outreach efforts with complementary messaging, or create unique stand-alone pieces designed around specific events or topics. Additionally, direct marketing channels are excellent for testing various messages or offers, or even trying out a new creative campaign.