As mentioned in my earlier post, I have recently joined AdBox as an account manager focused on bringing in new business for my advertising agency. Nevertheless, I have spent the past few weeks meeting various stakeholders in the agency, and am working on a marketing plan for the year 2013.
Are you planning for your marketing effort for the year 2013 as well? I guess you are. Therefore, I’ve prepared a checklist below for you to get started.
Review on your product / services
I always believe in understanding what you’re selling before you can start selling. Be it you’re new to the company or that you’re a veteran, it is always good to check back with your sales people, call centre staff or, even better, clients. You will always be amazed by the feedback or the perspective you get.
Identify your existing clients
Compile a list of your clients. From that list of clients, separate them into two lists. First list includes your existing customers. The second list, are your past customers who have are using your company’s products or services for some time. Once you have them separated, work out how you can up-sell, cross-sell your services or to contact them again.
Christmas is just round the corner isn’t it? Seize this chance to connect with them again!
Map out your clients according industry
Using the list of clients you have compiled above, map them into the various industries. With that done, you will notice which industries your company has the most clients and which has the least. This gives you a good idea on which industry your company’s products or services have the most penetration and which doesn’t. The next step is to ask yourself or to set up a brain-storming session with other stakeholders on
- Why these industries have the most penetration and how much potential to grow?
- Why these industries have the least penetration? Was it that they have the least need on the products or that the marketing effort isn’t reaching out to them effectively?
The answer to the above question will give you a good idea where to put your marketing resources next year.
This is an important step and often forgotten if not pushed to the lowest priority, especially if you’re a B2B company. It is important to keep a list of competitors and constantly check back on them – their website or any news about them on the internet. If you aren’t sure how to check on who are your direct competitors, you can
- Do a Google search using the keywords on the product or service you’re selling. First few are normally the most active ones. By the way, are your company website listed on the first page of the Google search?
- LinkedIn is another good way to find out who are your competitors as you can search company near your location and by company size.
Review your company’s website
Especially for a B2B company, most of your potential customers will do some research on search engines to find out who provides the product or service that they need. Good for you if your company’s website is highly ranked. If not, put search engine optimisation as your highest priority next year. Work out what content to develop to improve your call to action as well as search engine optimisation.
What? Your company has no website at all?
Review social media strategy
I hope you already have something in mind to improve your company’s website. Other than search engine, businesses today have another outlet to connect and generate leads via social media. Take a look no which social media allows you to connect with your potential customers the best. Check back on your existing clients list to make a better judgement. As a quick rule of thumb, LinkedIn might be a good investment if you’re a B2B or Facebook for a B2C.
Review marketing collaterals
It is natural that a potential leads expect something that they could read or refer to, be it a brochure or your credentials, before making the final decision. If you’re a B2B, you probably have to do a presentation to your potential client. Make sure you have these are ready and all of them sends the same message.
Review sales channel
Now we have touched on most of the marketing process, I always advice to put them into a graphical format on how leads comes your way. Prepare a sales channel graph indicating how potential clients would come to your website and make an enquiry; or how someone would contact you via social media and, eventually, make an appointment with your sales person for a presentation.
With this sales channel, it gives you a graphical perspective of your company’s leads generation process.
I assume that you would know what SWOT analysis is all about. Once you have done the above, put all the strength, weaknesses, opportunity and threat you’ve identified into the SWOT diagram. This gives you a bird’s eye view on your company’s competitive advantage (or disadvantage). Running through the list above might have increased your To-Do list significantly and you know, with your given resources, is not possible to get them all done. With this SWOT analysis, identify the NEEDS from the WANTS.
Measurement plan and goal setting
Last but never the least, for each item that you’re going to focus on 2013, work out a plan to measure. You might probably want to measure the number of website visitors a month to how many web enquiries you receive. For your social media, you might want to measure how many interactions as well as referrals went to your website etc. No matter how you do it, work out how you are to measure your effort and work out a goal / target you have to meet. Discuss this with your management and work out something practical.