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3 Tips for Creating a Winning Marketing Strategy

Posted by: Alexandra Heseltine - Friday, December 16, 2016

Most of us like to kick off the new year with fresh ideas and strategies for reaching our personal goals. I recently read in a Nielsen Report that the number one New Year’s resolution is staying fit and healthy (37%), followed by weight loss (32%) and enjoying life more fully (28%). Sound familiar?

Business owners and professionals don’t make resolutions but they do evaluate the previous year, establish goals for the new year and strategize on how to reach those goals. Typically, the number one goal is increased revenues, which is vital to the growth and sustainability of the business the long term. A solid goals-setting strategy includes research, customer personas, a path for success with milestones and incremental goals for reaching the year-end goals.

Business Goals and Marketing Strategy

Planning for a successful 2017 should include a manageable but effective marketing strategy designed to promote your brand and attract the right types of clients. Since businesses have shifted from traditional marketing to digital marketing, at least in part, it’s vital to create a strategy that is laser focused on the right market with a message that resonates with targeted customers.

Marketing Budget Guidelines

As a guideline, a solid marketing budget is 5%-10% of gross sales, depending on the type of business, customers and business goals. Spending marketing dollars wisely takes research, planning and a solid marketing strategy. Evaluate last year’s marketing strategy and stats. Did you achieve the expected outcomes or are there changes that need to be made to reach expected outcomes? Here are somethings to consider:

  • Can you make small changes to your website design so your website better engages with visitors and converts them to a prospect or lead?
  • Does your website need fresh content that is search engine friendly and appealing to prospects? 
  • How does your brand look online? Is it contemporary and representative of your business today? 
  • Do you have an integrated marketing and sales funnel in place that tracks a visitor journey from initial website visit through the buying process to a final sale? If so, what areas need adjusting? 
  • What marketing tactics, like email and social media, are you using to stay in front of prospects and nurture those connections to customers? Are these tactics fully integrated or are they working in silos? 
  • Do you need to identify new channels for reaching your customers are or the current channels effective?

The above list of questions is not exhaustive but is a starting point when evaluating your current marketing and planning for the new year.

Measure Marketing Results

As part of planning, create a process for tracking the results for all marketing campaigns. If the campaign is online, Google Analytics is a great tool for gauging activity and behavior of customers. Adobe, Marketo, Hubspot, and others offer different types of automated marketing tools to manage, measure and prove ROI.

Take time to evaluate your marketing stats, know your customers intimately and set up measurement tools to evaluate your ROI. Once research has been completed and measurement tools implemented, then you’re ready to create a strategy that delivers the results you’re striving to achieve.

How to Create a Lead-Generating Sales Funnel with Measurable Results

 Alexandra Heseltine | Marketing pro and creative director with over 25 years experience working with mid-sized to larger businesses and non-profits with experience in the construction, legal, banking and B2B sectors.

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