How to Assess Your Current Marketing Plan and Make Any Needed Adjustments to Grow Your Business
Fuel your strategy: Step back into your plan, reassess your goals, and fire up business success
The main objective in business is to grow. Acquire more customers. Sell more products. Be profitable. In short, we need to generate more qualified leads. Is that happening for your business? Think back to 2019. You put together a solid sales and marketing plan and kicked off 2020 with strong execution. Here we are, 6 months into the year and business is booming, right? If the answer is “no”, maybe your business plan has taken a turn and needs a reassessment.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I on track to reach my quarterly and yearly goals?
- What obstacles have I encountered along the way?
- Am I effectively reaching my target audience?
- Am I using the right metrics to measure success?
- What is working? What is not working?
The first step is to take a look at where you are currently. What is the current state of your business? If you are not already looking at your financial results on a regular basis, schedule a recurring meeting with yourself and essential team members for at least once per month. In this meeting, even if you are the only attendee, review your revenue and compare it to your planned revenue for the year. Is it on track? Why or why not? What successes or obstacles have contributed to those numbers? If you haven’t defined your revenue goals, now is the time to create a baseline of where you are now so you can plan where you would like to be in the future.
In addition, compare your current revenue numbers to other benchmarks. You can do this by comparing revenue month to month if your business is consistent throughout the year or by comparing to the same month of the previous year if you have a business that is seasonal. Looking at these comparisons will help you identify patterns and draw conclusions about the health of your business.
Another good financial benchmark to look at is your cost of goods sold. Did you increase your revenue but also see a spike in the percentage of that revenue spent on cost of goods? Ask yourself and your team if there are ways to reduce production costs and increase margins for your product(s).
Reviewing your financial data gives you visibility of the health of your business and allows you to head off issues before they happen. Having your numbers in front of you on a regular basis will also help you stay on track with your goals. After all, how will you stay motivated to grow your business if you are not regularly reviewing your performance?
The next part of your business to assess is your team. What does your current team look like and how are you utilizing their talents? Do you have the resources you need to steer results in the desired direction? Maybe you have had some staff turnover or need to hire additional staff to take on extra projects to meet your goals. At Pace Marketing, we partner with clients in similar situations. Some have a lean staff and need to partner with us to get projects done on time. Other clients have a robust plan that requires additional help to implement it successfully at the level of quality they expect. Whether it’s providing more training opportunities to your current staff or outsourcing to get the job done on time, it’s important to have the right manpower in place to execute your sales and marketing strategies. According to an article written by Rise, effective metrics to measure team performance include:
Keeping your talent needs in front of you will be important as you strive to grow your organization – people are essential to your success!
Now it is time to look at your current marketing program. To execute any sales and marketing plan, you need to have the right channels and messaging in place to reach prospective clients and to attract your target audience to your products and services. How you attract your target market and message your products and services is key to influencing buying behavior. Does your mission statement and unique selling proposition convey your business story and match your goals? Ensure your email and digital marketing campaigns are designed with strong and compelling calls to action directed at your targeted personas. Here are some common business channels to review:
- Company website
- About us
- Calls to action
- Product positioning and services messaging
- Social Media campaigns
- Integrated digital marketing campaigns
- Direct mail
- Forms and brochures
- Other marketing collateral
In addition, you should review your customer journey. In the simplest terms, these are the steps your prospects go through as they discover your company or product, engage with it, make a purchase and become a loyal customer. To map out your customer journey, work with your sales team to brainstorm what the steps toward closing a sale look like. Are there key milestones that happen within the sales process?
The higher the price on a product, the more complicated the customer journey can be and the higher the need for marketing support collateral such as brochures, case studies and white papers. Knowing the journey will help you understand how your marketing collateral fits into your marketing framework and what each piece needs to accomplish. A tactic used for prospecting will have different goals and messaging than a tactic used to negotiate and close a sale.
Perform a SWOT analysis
Performing an internal SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is a useful technique to assess four aspects of your business, underlining the decisions to be made before putting together a strategy or business plan. The results of this analysis will help you learn what is working in your business and what needs improvement.
By performing this comprehensive exercise, it allows your business to realign your current strategy in a way that capitalizes on strengths and opportunities and addresses weaknesses and potential threats.
Strengths: define what your company does well or those things that set you apart from your competitors – these are internal factors that you can control or impact.
Weaknesses: be honest about what aspects of your business are not working – these are internal factors that you can control or impact.
Opportunities: brainstorm opportunities for your business to bloom which are usually outside influences that can help your business grow or lead in the future – these are external factors that you cannot control but you can capitalize on.
Threats: review what can negatively affect your business – these are external factors that you cannot control but you can create means of reducing their impact.
Look to the future to fuel your business success
Once you have completed the above assessments – Financial, Staff Performance, Marketing Tools, SWOT Analysis – you will have the answers you need to shift your current plan. It will provide insight to what aspects of your business need to pivot or be adjusted and set you up to make the changes needed to your current strategy.
Need help in these assessments or direction on how to make needed changes? Schedule a Roadmap Call where one of our Marketing Specialists will discuss how you can clarify your marketing program so you can drive business growth.