This is an excellent time to review your existing marketing activities, create a new plan and prepare for the new year, so you can hit the ground running in January. Below are five quick steps to get your 2011 marketing strategy rolling.
Step 1: Update your marketing message. Do your prospects and centers of influence understand who you serve, how you serve them and how you are different than your competitors? If not, look at your overall messaging. Develop a clear story about what makes you different and the value you provide to your clients.
Step 2: Review your marketing collateral. When was the last time you updated your marketing collateral and website? If you can’t remember or if it has been over a year, it’s time to review your marketing communication tools. Most likely, you will find your content out of date or not conveying the right message. For 2011, consider marketing that can be easily updated from each year, such as one pagers, instead of traditional brochures that have to be ordered by the thousands.
Step 3: Evaluate existing marketing activities from this year and even earlier. What worked? What didn’t? Don’t reinvent the wheel each year; plan on repeating what is currently working for you. Analyze what hasn’t worked and see if there is a way to improve or abandon the idea.
Step 4: Begin planning your activities on your 2011 calendar. Start with campaigns that worked in the past and build from there. Diversify your campaigns to address referral, direct and word-of-mouth marketing to reach clients from a variety of sources. Choose a mix of mediums — from face to face to online — to reach prospects from different angles.
Step 5: Implement. Updating your marketing message or communication tools can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months and should be completed before the start of 2011. Organizing events and workshops takes about six to 10 weeks, so the planning for any January event should begin in November.
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