SMART steps to successful marketing

by on August 30, 2011

The theory

In a perfect world, marketing spend is recognised as an investment and budget is allocated and measured in line with business objectives.

Organisations recognise that marketing supports the business. Critical business decisions are therefore made with complete understanding of their impact on customers and prospects.

The reality

Today, companies are placing more scrutiny, skepticism, and the infamous acronym – ROI, on marketing initiatives. This means that, more than ever, we as marketers are accountable in hard dollars for marketing spend.

When marketing is taken for granted and perceived as an ‘add on’ that can be dispensed with when times are tough, it’s up to marketing professionals to counter this myth by working towards making a vital contribution to the organisation’s bottom-line.

Achieving business objectives

To achieve specific business objectives, a long term marketing strategy with measurable objectives is mandatory. Failure to plan measurable implement-ations or set objectives sets projects up for failure. Measuring the results over time ensures objectives are being met and gives prime opportunity to reinforce, re-evaluate and if necessary correct the strategy to ensure that it drives directly towards its intended goals.

Are you SMART?

The greatest strategy can be undermined by poor implementation. Here are six steps to address some of the most common pitfalls:

  1.  When was your database last contacted? Is it accurate? If your database is out of date, you are wasting resources and therefore not reaching the intended audience no matter how great your strategy is.
  2. How often are your target markets hearing your voice – Customers? Staff? Prospects? Media? What’s the ROI of contact on each activity? For example, is your effort outweighing the results?
  3. Can you clarify your organisations expected ROI of a project? Check your expectations against the expectations of others and clarify the definition of success among project stakeholders.
  4. Too often objectives are broad, vague and impressive-sounding, making them unmeasurable. It is essential to set quantifiable objectives (or SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) against which you can measure the projects outcomes.
  5. Be accountable. Keep up-to-date with all aspects of the project so that you get a feel for its trajectory and correspond appropriately should new opportunities arise.
  6. Analyse and feedback to project participants so that you all gain wisdom of the project elements that did and didn’t work.

At the end of the day, if your goals are SMART your results will be too

The Taurus Top 8 Marketing Tips

1. Tell your prospects what you do in 60 seconds

  • Get your story straight now – don’t waste another moment
  • Make it easy for people to understand what you do and buy easily from you
  • Define the benefits of your service and clarify your corporate and product messages

2. Ensure your brand stands out from your competitors

  • Make your logo memorable and exciting
  • Ensure your marketing material reflects what you do
  • Remember, good design cuts through

3. Make your website ‘sticky’

  • Your website should clearly and concisely communicate to prospects and customers
  • Use it to inform, reassure, educate and provide a positive return on investment
  • Make it accurately reflect your story and your marketing material

4. Have a regular, positive media presence

  • Media coverage greases the wheels of your sales process
  • It provides a third party endorsement – invaluable in selling
  • Email media coverage to prospects and upload it to your website

5. Clean and grow your database

  • Your database is arguably the most valuable thing your business owns
  • So add to, clean, format and segment it regularly
  • Contact your database frequently – at least five times a year

6. Get others to shout your story

  • Reference selling is the name of the game
  • Collate customer case studies, endorsements and positive testimonials
  • These cement your offering with definitive, positive proof

7. Make certain your team looks and acts the part

  • A very small percentage of businesses really understand, or act on, the power of marketing
  • Marketing works internally and externally – your team are your company’s greatest advocates
  • Document your marketing culture and train your team on it, to build brand

8. Put Marketing on your company agenda

  • Put marketing on the internal map and raise its importance
  • Almost everyone in your company has answers and ideas
  • Remember you are just selling to people – so make it simple

 

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