The end of an old year means it’s time to start marketing for the new one. Maybe you’ve planned this for awhile and already have some great ideas, or maybe this is your first time marketing and you feel a bit lost. No matter what your experience, a good direct marketing plan is vital, but can be overwhelming if you try to do everything at once. Today, we’ll focus on a few key areas to pay attention to during next year’s marketing plan.
The world becomes increasingly technological each year, and almost as soon as a new item comes out, it’s obsolete. Don’t let your company become obsolete, too – keep up with what’s popular in the technological world and use it to your advantage. In 2013, there were 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions, and that number continues to climb. Almost every adult now uses some kind of Apple device like a smartphone or a tablet, as do the majority of preteens and teens.
Most businesses see their sales and other numbers fall because their websites are not mobile-friendly. They also experience trouble if their websites are not current or are difficult to navigate. Attention spans are shorter than ever, and a website visitor generally only stays on one site for three clicks. If they can’t find what they need in three clicks, visitors leave and may not return. People also avoid websites if they aren’t updated regularly or if the interface is either too complicated or not engaging enough. It may help to put a “last updated” notation on your home page and keep it current.
Every business owner knows the value of a budget but may get stumped when actually determining one. For example, let’s say you run a daycare center out of your home for five neighborhood children. You know you’ll need to budget for essentials such as baby formula, bottles, diapers, and healthy snacks. However, how much do you need to budget for toys or games? If you utilize field trips, which ones will be most popular in the coming year? How much should you budget for gas?
When budgeting, the first thing to focus on after necessities is what worked vs. what flopped in the last year. For example, if you know the children you care for are getting too old for naps, don’t waste a big portion of money on linens or pillows. Instead, invest in books or quiet games. If you are a corporate executive and know most of your employees don’t like to travel any further than a 200-mile radius, budget accordingly.
Despite our fascination with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we’re actually a less social society than ever, which is bad news for business. Business owners, do whatever you can to put yourself and your business out there this year. As much as possible, substitute face-to-face interactions for conference calls and Skyping. Cut down on planning and meetings; this keeps people from getting work done and makes them less likely to interact. Send out direct mail explaining the benefits of your business and stay in touch with people on your in-house lists. All that being said, do keep your social media presence strong, with at least two account updates per week.