As the New Year is upon us, many local business owners and marketing firms are preparing for business growth in 2014. With so many different venues for local advertising and marketing these days, it’s sometimes best to go back to the basics to make the process of creating a marketing plan more effective. In this article, we reflect on a few of the questions you might ask yourself in preparation for business growth in 2014 with local business marketing best practices.
Local Business Marketing – Questions to Answer
As you embark on another year of business growth, this is a great time to go back to the basics of local business marketing. Start by creating a marketing plan focused on 1) your customers and 2) your financial performance. Begin by answering these questions.
- How many customers did you gain in 2013? Track each source of revenue to the customer, and then determine if each was a new customer or a repeat customer. For those that are new, track advertising sources to determine where you might be able to invest more in 2014. For repeat customers, what trends are you seeing for repeat sales? If several of your repeat customers have common trends, you might be able to create a marketing campaign to all of your other clients. For instance, if you provide remodeling services and notice that several people who hired you for bath remodeling came back for kitchen remodeling or vice versa, you might create a campaign to market to these people. Direct mail and email marketing might be great ways to get repeat business from these people.
- What are some of the common characteristics of these customers? To create an effective local business marketing plan, focus heavily on what defines your ideal customer. Some of the areas to consider are age, sex, location, occupation, income level, home valuation (specifically for the remodeling service example above) and other characteristics. You might even begin to understand the client lifecycle by looking at the gaps in time between customers and/or services provided to these customers.
- What types of products and services did these customers choose? As part of your local business marketing plan, you might want to create a spreadsheet or matrix to track the revenue generated from each of your offerings. Often times, this will help you understand where you are making money and where to devote your time and energy.
- What was the total revenue and profits generated from these clients and offerings? By categorizing your customers and revenues in your local business marketing plan, you will often get a really good idea of where you need to be focusing your energy in 2014. For instance, if a majority of your customers are in a geographic area with a large number of others who may need your services, you may want to focus your local marketing campaigns in that specific area – same goes for your offerings.
While the answers to these questions will help you with the creation of your 2014 marketing plan, do not forget to stay focused on the End in Mind. Think about this time next year… what will you have accomplished in customer growth, revenue growth and profitability. You may have to start with the back of a napkin, but the more questions you can ask yourself and answer, the better you can plan and communicate your goals with your organization and even your customers.
For help with creating a marketing plan for your local business or for outsourcing to an experienced marketing firm for your business growth, Call Social180 at 469-420-0180 today!