Move Making the Most of Your Marketing Efforts to the Top of the To-Do List for 2011
By Tiffany Harris, President, Foster Marketing
Whether you are a deepwater drilling company or a wind turbine manufacturer, no energy company supplier starts the year saying, “We did well enough last year; we can let our competitors increase their market share this year.” … At least, not if they plan to still be in business in the future.
Acknowledge that the status quo is, in fact, losing ground and create a clear vision of the possibilities ahead for your company by improving your marketing efforts. As you develop your plan for 2011, add making the most of your marketing efforts to the agenda. Here are some tried-and-true methods that can increase market share, build brand awareness and ultimately bolster your bottom line.
• Set objectives. Would you start running a race without knowing the distance or location of the finish line? To get to your finish line and truly see a return on your time and financial investment for marketing, you must set mile markers so you can ensure you’re on the right track. Common objectives for businesses could include entering new geographic markets, increasing awareness or developing new sales tools, such as a brochure or website.
• Identify key target markets. Along with setting marketing objectives, identifying your key target markets helps guide your path. Key targets can be geographic, demographic or product/service specific.
• Develop a budget. Keep in mind, lofty objectives require a monetary commitment. So, plan accordingly. Having a spending plan also can help you define how much you can accomplish this year and what will become a priority next year.
• Develop a plan. An effective marketing communications plan should pull your objectives, targets and budget together into a single plan of attack. This can also include a timeline to help keep your efforts focused because a project without a deadline can easily turn into a wish.
• Work the plan. With the prize in your sights, you can begin integrating your efforts to maximize the return on your time and monetary investment. Using a mix of marketing tactics such as branding, public relations, research, advertising (print and digital) and trade shows is an effective way to reach your goals. Identify and push your positioning statement and hone your message as you work your plan.
• Monitor. Be sure to check the pulse of your efforts along the way to determine if you need to push harder or adjust your plan. Building tracking methods into your marketing efforts allows you to track your progress.
Using these tactics in your marketing efforts can mean great gains for your company and lend support to a 2012 plan of attack that is even bigger and better.