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So, you’ve closed the book on the last few months, and you’ve got a marketing plan in place and some data to reflect upon. As you know by now, planning is essential for success. Whether you work independently on your small business marketing plans or with a larger firm with a team involved, there are always opportunities for improvement. Without further ado, let’s dig into some top planning tips that will help you crush your marketing goals for the future.
1.) Review – and celebrate – your successes!
How did your marketing campaigns perform in the last few quarters? Did you see good response rates? What shows promise for the next quarters? Review all of your metrics and data carefully. You might find some places for improvements and new tests that you can run to help determine best practices for your firm.
And don’t forget to celebrate your wins! Even if things didn’t perform exactly as expected doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great test to run. Acknowledge any disappointments and chart those away as lessons learned. Recognize successes and continue learning from them in the next two quarters.
2.) Be flexible.
That brings us right into step two – be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so flexibility is essential. And part of flexibility is thinking outside of the box. Have you done any marketing on social media yet? Maybe it’s time to try. What about webinars? Perhaps you haven’t tried them since the pandemic. Now could be the ideal time!
Maybe the solution involves getting more people involved. If your emails aren’t getting the response you want, it might be time to bring in a peer or a friend to review what you’re sending. Are they easy to read? Timely? Valuable? What could be done differently?
3.) Set SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When you set SMART goals, you increase your chances of achieving them because they are clear, realistic, and attainable.
What might a good SMART goal look like? Let’s break down a SMART goal for improving conversion rates.
Specific: I want more visitors to convert on my landing page as leads, and I will do this by updating the content.
Measurable: I want an increase of 10% in conversions through the website
Achievable: Higher conversion rates will result in more qualified leads to work with.
Relevant: This landing page performs ok but is vague and needs more action words. Rewriting the content is something my team can manage.
Timely: Over the next six months.
So, this SMART Goal is: My team will increase conversion rates for the landing page by 10% over the next five months by updating the content to be more action driven.
SMART goals take some time to flesh out, but studies show the greatest chance of success comes with planning. In fact, only 3% of people set up SMART goals, and they are over ten times more likely to succeed.
4.) Create a plan of action.
Once you have set your goals, creating a plan of action is essential. This marketing plan should outline the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Make a list of your SMART goals, and outline them so that you can reasonably accomplish them.
Determine which are the highest priority and how you can move them forward the fastest. Can you assign any goals to someone else to manage to allow you to work on more things at once? Consider if you can break down the goals into smaller steps. Large goals can be daunting! Smaller, bite-sized pieces help you stay on track and help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed with the process.
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5.) Set deadlines for each step.
Your plan of action needs to include deadlines, not just for completing the SMART goal. Take those small pieces you broke out in your action plan, and decide on a deadline to keep you on track. Small, regular steps forward in your goals help you get to the finish line.
6.) Track your progress and make adjustments.
It’s important to track your progress as you work towards your goals. Not only as you stay on course with your deadlines but also to ensure that your SMART goal is performing as intended. What do you do when your results aren’t as you expected?
That’s why tracking progress and making adjustments is crucial. Consider in our example that the landing page content updates went as planned and are now live. And the conversion rates did increase – that’s a win! But looking at the statistics, you see it’s only increased by 5%.
Maybe it’s time to look deeper at how we can improve this landing page. Could larger or brighter CTA buttons help? Is there a source we can push even more visitors from to the landing page? Continue thinking outside of the box to reach your goals.
7.) Believe in yourself and the process.
Believing in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals is the most important thing. You didn’t get this far in your professional career by giving up. Growth and change are challenging, but you know you have the grit and expertise to find new solutions that will connect you with more qualified prospects and grow your business.
These seven steps will help you refine your marketing planning, outline goals effectively, and see improvements in your business. But sometimes, outsourcing your customer acquisition or seeking assistance in marketing campaigns can help you see immediate results.
Now, it’s time to get started.
When you want top-notch marketing guidance, with over 26 years of experience in your industry, the team at LeadingResponse is here to guide you every step of the way. From webinars, digital ads, dinner seminars, direct mail, one-on-one appointments, and more – we are here to help you reach your goals. Contact our team now for a free consultation on how our marketing solutions can help you grow.