As we go into the final quarter of the year many marketers will be finalising budgets and preparing their plans to be carried out during 2013 to achieve various objectives. Now is the time when you may assess on what the marketing department has achieved during 2012, benchmark, re-evaluate if you like, and make the necessary plans to improve next year. (Or you could just delete 2012 and replace with 2013 on your 60+ page word document and re-do all the things you did last year.)
1. Let the boss decide on the desired outcome, let the marketer decide on HOW you’re going to get to that outcome
Pick an outcome, not an output. Outcomes could be ‘gain X new customers in 2013′ or ‘increase new customer rate by 20% vs 2012′ or ‘increase leads from the website by 100% vs 2012′
How will you gain new customers in 2013? Do you know who your existing customers are? How many new customers do you need in 2013 to break even or make profit? Do you need 150 new stockists/merchants? How many projects do you need to win in order to make a good profit? Do you know how many leads you’ve generated via the website this year?
Don’t plan around outputs such as we need to print 10,000 brochures, we need to do 3 exhibitions, we need to do 50 feature articles in magazines X,Y,Z or we need to buy 300 golf balls for our sales guys. These are useless if you have no objective or outcome.
2. Figure out ‘why’ you manufacture what you manufacture – and communicate that in 2013!
Ever wondered WHY Celotex do what they do? You might say ‘make money’ but that’s a result of WHAT they do, not WHY they do it.
Why do Kingspan manufacture cladding? Why do Catnic manufacture lintels? Why do Polypipe manufacture pipes?
Go figure out WHY the company manufacture what they manufacture (don’t focus on the ‘what’ or the ‘how’). One for another blog post I think.
3. Get online and take a look around – everywhere
Do this today: Try and find your company in Google WITHOUT using your company name or the name of your products.
Can you find your website? No? Come talk to us.
Yes? Who else is around your listing? They are your competitors also. What do their websites look like? Do they have a blog? Are they using social media? Where are their links coming from? (this will tell you how effective their PR is also)
Architects and Specifiers do use Google for researching new products or sourcing technical information, they also use product directories to compare products – are you online?
Best of all – do some research NOW! Do lots of surveys to small segments of your database and get some facts, ideas and find out what could be improved in 2013 – don’t assume.
4. Get employees trained up
Digital is moving fast and it’s certainly not slowing down. Google is making 50-100 changes to its algorithm and page layouts every day. You need to know about this sort of stuff if you are planning on doing SEO or re-building a website. SEO is not the same as it was 5 years ago when you may have done a 1 day course. Responsive web design, mobile applications and content marketing are all relatively new. Do you know the basics and the processes involved?
Plan to get out to some conferences, seminars and events that are focused on B2B digital – or you could speak to us for a bespoke training session on SEO and Google Analytics.
5. Audit your Google Analytics account
Your Google Analytics account is full of hidden gems. It will answer questions such as ‘are people still Googling for your products?’ or ‘what kind of content are my audience searching for’ or ‘which of the main contractors and biggest Architectural practices are regularly visiting and interacting with my website?’ – yes it can tell you this also.
We audit and benchmark Google Analytics data to generate you a list of recommendations which are all actionable – something you can take away and do tomorrow or plan for 2013. More often than not, this is the perfect starting point to plan for 2013. Why not start today – give us a call. By researching what’s already happening on your website, it can help you priorities what you do in 2013.
Hopefully these tips have been useful and if anyone would like to share their tips or have any questions then please feel free to do within the comments section.