Rule Your Marketing Track…. Don’t Run Around It Aimlessly

 STAY ON TRACK EASILY BY FOLLOWING THIS… 

Many business owners often find the task of marketing daunting. Staying on track with your plan can be a challenge and often takes a single person to keep on track with the plan throughout the year. If you are a small business owner and do not have the luxury of an assistant or a full marketing department don’t worry, staying on track can be easily obtained by following this short list:  

1. Keep It In Your Face. Never file your marketing plan away in a file cabinet. Keeping your plan posted on your wall or board will allow it to be a constant reminder. If your plan is wordy get creative and make a nice visual chart that will enhance your decor!

2. Organize By Time Horizon. Divide your marketing plan into months. Following a timeline is often the best way to stay on track. More important put your monthly reminders into your electronic calendar to act as a back up. When you schedule meetings and appointments you will get reminders of things to do. For help with setting up your marketing plan follow our Roadmap of Marketing directions here

3. Plan and Prioritize Special Promotions. If you are like many small businesses you have special promotions or advertisements that need to go out at specific times. These are most often a greater part of your marketing budget. Keeping close track of these is crucial to your success. If your piece is not planned already leave time in your schedule for an ample planning process. 

4. Monthly Reviews.  Your marketing goals are like targets. Reviewing monthly to make sure all your targets have been met can be very rewarding. Proving you can stay on track and follow your marketing plan successfully will build confidence in this segment of your business!

5. Estimate Your Time Spent. Estimating your time spent on all of your marketing tasks will allow you to plan for next years marketing. Your business grows year after year. Keeping track of time spent on marketing is a great way to see what tasks you will want to delegate later. Examples of good things to track is:

  • How many hours do you spend on specific marketing activities?
  • What are the three main marketing activities where you spend the most time?
  • How many hours each week do you spend on marketing? Be specific: mailing, addressing, setting up, dealing with designers…

You’ll likely find that you are spending half your time on your highest marketing priorities. Some business owners haven’t carefully thought about their targets, and often neglect important marketing tasks until it becomes a crisis, demanding their full attention.

Marketing can be easy and fun when planned around your main business activities. Remember a solid, successful campaign must be consistent and followed throughout the life-span of the original plan. If you cannot stick to a full year of marketing it may be time to revise your budget and bring help in immediately. There are plenty of resources at your local chapters of APA, ASMP, ASPP, and PPA. Remember to utilize your core support groups for advice, referrals, and insight on steps to follow with the most success!

For assistance with your marketing and staying on track contact iHeart Marketing or book your FREE no-obligation consultation today!

RoadMap Of Marketing: 102

Roadmap Of Marketing: 102

So we’ve learned the first steps to setting up your marketing roadmap in our previous post. By now if you have not already done so you should have:

  • Defined your marketing goals
  • Have a clear vision of your budget for your marketing goals
  • Targeted the proper contacts you should be promoting to
  • Decided on a schedule that works for you (eg. January, March, May, etc…)
  • Researched email services that will suit your marketing needs

Now the next phase will require you to roll up your sleeves a bit and get bruitally honest with yourself. It is where we begin to integrate the different mediums that you will be utilizing as your avenues of exposure to your market. There are several avenues and they should consist of all or some of the list below:

  1. Website
  2. Foliosite
  3. Managed database
  4. Email
  5. Direct mail
  6. Phone calls (aka: connections)
  7. Meetings/appointments
  8. Social networking
  9. Maintaining past clients
  10. Special promotions
  11. Contests

My advice here is to choose what works best for you! Obviously doing all of these methods will increase your exposure and benefit your company the most but, that is not always feasible when reverting back to your budget. Utilize your budget as a guideline that will allow you to integrate what you want to do, with what you can afford to do. Marketing is not supposed to make you feel stressed. You should set up a plan that you can time manage into a set schedule throughout the year. A year is the perfect amount of time to run your campaign and gain the maximum exposure through consistency and hard work.  A good example of an integrated campaign based on marketing for a commercial artist with an annual budget of $ 5000.00 might look like this:

  • Website ($ 500)
  • Database ($ 1,000)
  • Email Marketing Services ($ 250)
  • Direct Mail ($ 1,500)
  • Phone calls ($ FREE!)
  • Social Media ($ FREE!)
  • Appointments ( $ 750)
  • Special Promotions ( $ 1000)

 

Keep in mind the amounts of the mediums will vary depending on what options you chose. The important options will be a balancing act of your budget. Weighing the best exposure with your budget will allow you to get the most out of your budget. Remember, just because something is FREE does not mean it will not cost you something. Social Media and Phone calls obviously will take your time. Decide what your time is worth and manage it wisely. Incorporating social media into after hours is a BIG save on your budget. Working one hour more a day can allow you to set up your social posts and make 25 calls to potential clients. The payoff can be HUGE! I find working before or after office hours run gets you the best focus time with less interruptions!

Now that we have laid out a great sample sit down and try to put your own together based on: your own goals and your personal budgets. For steps on getting started view Roadmap of Marketing 101 here. To set up a FREE marketing consultation with iHeart Marketing today click here. Your FREE marketing consult is only one click away!

~ Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to read and Happy Marketing until we speak again!

RoadMap of Marketing: 101

 

ROADMAP OF MARKETING: 101

So you’re wondering what all this “roadmap” chat is? It comes from the process of having an aid in finding your way. Think about it, what is the first thing we do when we make major decisions in life? We map out a plan. For a vacation we need a map (or now in 2012 a gps on our smartphone), when buying a house we research and map out our direction, in relationships: “Where are we going?” often comes up as a topic because there is no written directions. The need for a map in life is a neccessity. Think about how great it would be if your newborn came with a map of personal directions! Why should your business, your baby, require anything less!

So Marketing Roadmap 101 here we come!

The first step in creating your Roadmap of Marketing should begin with two key elements: knowing your goals and where you would like to get to and then knowing how much budget you have to get you there. Afterall your budget is the fuel that will drive you closer to your goal. If your goal is to be the BEST and highest level pro at what you do GREAT, but how do you get there… However, I will just get this off my chest now – setting unrealistic goals will put you out of business quickly. Knowing your expectations of where you WANT to be is great but the great wall of China was not built in a day if you know what I mean.

So once you know your goal/s and budget you are almost there!  Now you need to create your marketing mix. These elements will be crucial in determining your products/services unique selling point. They can be easily defined by answering the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you selling?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Why are you better?

Targeting your audience through the proper mix of your marketing is key. You may want to ask yourself some of the following questions to figure out where your target market can be easily saturated with your exposure:

  • Where does your target hang out?
  • Are they twitter freaks?
  • Do they scan through facebook daily?
  • Do they drop everything for a fresh plush direct mail promotion?
  • Can you contact them easily?
  • Should you be packing a bag for some face time?


Once you know WHO you are and WHO you are selling to you are ready to merge your goals and budget! This is when things get very exciting. Remember to always follow the KISS rule. ( Keep It Simple Stupid).  When creativity and campaigns are combined it’s easy to want to promote yourself everywhere, to everyone! Throwing spagetti up against the wall is NOT for everyone. Stay within the borders of your criteria. A simple campaign is all you need. One that consists of your marketing timeline. I find it easy to follow the every other month set-up. For instance, if email promoting is in your mix you will start with an email every other month. So your email schedule would be:

  1. January
  2. March
  3. May
  4. July
  5. September
  6. November

I like to integrate direct mail as an email promotion follow up. It’s an easy, cost effective way to gain maximum exposure to the people that are paying attention to you. With email tracking you can see WHO showed an interest in you. If you are utilizing an email service that allows tracking it will be easy to cross reference them. If you aren’t I recommend checking them out. It will allow you to market smart and narrow down your potential sales to a smaller tangible group. Some of the good email services out there are:  

These are only a few. If you want to take your email marketing to the next level and have an extensive personal list you may want to consider exact target, sugar crm, or hubspot. These email services are integrated with your crm (customer relationship management) software. This to can be added to your “goals” in a realistic manner to get to this point. 

 So without any overload we will end this post today and look forward to the next series of the Roadmap to Marketing next time! 

~ Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to read and Happy Marketing until we speak again!

iHeart Marketing Celebrates ONE MONTH Anniversary!

 YAY iHEART MARKETING!!!

After finally launching iHeart Marketing there are a quite a few things to celebrate. Firstly, the overwhelming response out there has been absolutely great! Knowing iHeart Marketing could help so many people right away is near and dear to my heart for sure! I’d like to shout out a special “Thank You!” to everybody who has added to my success with iHeart!

Secondly, launching my own business has allowed me to gain some perspective on a clearly defined roadmap of all of the steps that need to be taken to successfully stay on track. Not only have a I spoken with businesses for years about their marketing plan but now I get to evaluate and structure the plan with them in more detail on a one-on-one basis!

So what’s this “roadmap” I speak of? Many of you already know what the road map is. After all, how do we ever get to point B from point A without clearly defining the who, what, wheres, whys, and hows that will lead us there? In the past eighteen years of my career I have showed people how to successfully market and sell their “product” or “service” to the proper market. To do this, no matter what your product or service is you MUST have a roadmap.

In the next coming weeks you will be seeing all about the Roadmap of Marketing and learn how to begin. By the end of all blog posts your business will be off and running! Easily, consistently, and successfully.

To stick with iHeart Marketing and follow along subscribe to own notifications here.

~ Happy Marketing until we speak again!