Are you ready to make 2016 your biggest year ever? You’ll need a strong marketing strategy drawn from past history and sprinkled with fresh ideas. The following 2016 marketing checklist will help you get your creative marketing juices flowing and make you think about how customers will perceive your brand and respond to you this year.
Start by reviewing your 2015 marketing efforts. What marketing channels did you use? How did you divvy up your budget? What worked, and what didn’t? What marketing channels haven’t you tried? Evaluate everything to identify new opportunities to reach customers and invest your budget efficiently. This is also a good time to give your cornerstone marketing tools a review. Consider the following:
- Do your business cards and brochures compel followups?
- Is your brand image accurately portrayed on your business cards, letterhead, labels, pocket folders, and envelopes?
- How does your website stack up to your competition? Is it responsive and mobile-optimized?
Complete your evaluation by taking the following action steps:
- Update your brand image on all marketing collateral, if needed.
- Revamp your business cards, brochures, and other marketing tools to make them more compelling.
- Make your website better than your competitors’ – and definitely make sure it’s mobile-ready.
- Choose what marketing channels you’ll try in 2016, and allocate a percentage of your budget to each. Invest heavily in the marketing channels you know work, but also save some investment for trying new marketing channels and new strategies in others.
- Determine your overall marketing goals for 2016. Be as specific as possible, and decide how you’re going to determine whether your 2016 marketing efforts are successful.
Connect with customers
Next, create a plan for connecting with your customers. This goes above and beyond traditional advertising; you want to embed your company in the conversation and be viewed as an authoritative, legitimate voice in your field. Create a sense of solidarity with your customers, and they’ll reward you with long-term loyalty. Ideas include:
- How-to booklets that offer your customers excellent advice or otherwise show them how solve their problems or enhance their lifestyles.
- Compelling online content that offers good advice or entertains your target audience.
- Print calendars featuring photos your customers will love and will be proud to hang on their walls.
- A dedicated social media marketing campaign in which you actively engage in conversation, not just advertise.
- Send greeting cards to your customers for personal special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, and more – plus holiday cards for all the holidays.
- Print newsletters and regular emails that offer advice and offer customers insight into your business.
Expand your audience
Not only do you need to connect with existing customers, you also have to expand your audience. Options include:
- Direct-mail postcards
- Posters, flyers, and banners
- Targeted web and print advertising
- Guest posts on relevant blogs
- Direct-mail catalogs
- Door hangers
- Rack cards
- Sales sheets
- Sales letters
- Branching out on social media
- Online freebies in exchange for email or mailing addresses: white papers, PDF guides, lesson access, etc.
Consider how you can leverage the ideas listed here to boost business in 2016. Once you’ve evaluated everything, set your goals, and developed your plan, be sure to invest in affordable, high-quality printing at discount prices to maximize your return on investment.