We’ve discussed the importance of conducting an annual marketing refresh. At SoVerve HQ, we recommend breaking down this process into three different areas. The first of these is to conduct a Marketing Strategies Reassessment. In this blog post, we dive deeper into what that includes and how you can conduct your own today. We even have a fantastic podcast episode to listen to while creating your reassessment task list.
Since 2016, when we launched our agency, we have made it a point to be in continuous partnership with small business owners across the U.S. and the world. We have noticed the lack of consistency in assessing the current state of a brand’s marketing, which can very well mean that the task is often seen as overwhelming.
Step One of a Marketing Strategies Reassessment
Our goal is that through this breakdown, you can take small bite-sized steps to create a custom annual marketing refresh that will help to keep your business thriving through quarter four, time and time again. Below is our breakdown of what is included in step one of a Marketing Strategies Reassessment.
Reassessing Your Marketing Goals
We are going to start by reassessing your marketing goals. This process is the most important step in your overall marketing refresh. As with most things in business (and in life), we cannot know where we are going if we do not have a clear plan, goals, and objectives for how we will get there.
Starting the year, we sometimes make elaborate plans based on what we want and not what we need. Even if we make more reasonable plans, depending on how sustainable that plan may have been, a reassessment may be necessary. Here are three questions you need to consider when you are ready to reassess your marketing goals:
- Do your marketing goals align with your overall vision?
- Do your marketing goals align with your overall purpose?
- Are your marketing goals SMART goals?
Once you have answered these questions, you’ll want to ensure you can successfully achieve these goals with proper budgeting. If the budgeting does not permit the goals you set, then you need to reassess the goals or increase your income. Something always has to give.
Reassessing Your Marketing Budget
Is there anything fun about budgeting? Some people will say yes, but for the most part, budgeting is never fun. In marketing, budgeting can be an eye-opener to many different things within your business. Often, budgeting is a tall tale sign that your bottom line is healthy, and it can also indicate cash flow, spending, or overall income strategy issues.
Either way, the objective is to ensure your marketing budget aligns with your goals. You’ll want to consider some things when creating a successful or, in our case, reassessing the marketing budget to perform a marketing refresh. These things include:
- Design | A marketing design budget for campaigns outside your regular content will be required.
- This will include graphics for social media, graphics for your newsletter, graphics for your website, and any printed collateral.
- Simple graphic design for social media differs from graphic design for a sales campaign.
- Paid Ads | If you plan on running paid-ad campaigns, you’ll want your ad spend to be considered.
- Depending on who you choose to work with, you’ll want to establish a budget that aligns with your goals.
- Talent | To get – as we say – all the things done, you’ll probably be hiring a team to do so.
- For example, a copywriter is one team member you should always account for.
- Unlike a content writer, a copywriter is responsible for writing sales copy to sell a service or a product.
Once your budget is fairly set, you’ll want to consider your talent since a team will help you reach your goals more effortlessly.
Reassessing Your Marketing Talent
As discussed above, your marketing talent often changes depending on your quarterly and annual goals. Most years, you will have a fairly set marketing team to help you with marketing strategy, brand awareness, community management, social media engagement, content writing, and graphic design. For example, that team will look different than the team you set in place during the holiday season.
Will you be hiring from within and promoting existing team members? Will you be initiating a hiring campaign to onboard new talent? These are all things you want to consider before you move into the two remaining areas of your marketing refresh. It’s not always easy, and hiring a team can be costly, depending on what you are hiring for.
Here are a few positions to consider in building your ideal marketing team:
- CMO, Marketing Consultant(s) & Strategist(s)
- Social Media Marketers & Community Manager(s)
- Email Marketers (& SMS Marketing Specialists)
- Content Marketers, Managers, Writers & Copywriters
- Facebook/Instagram Ads Specialist, Pinterest Ads Specialist
- Project Manager(s)
- Web Design, Web Maintenance & SEO Experts
Note that “coaching” is not included in this list, and that is because the CEO and small business owner do not perform these functions; this is why it is important to hire experts who can work in their zone of genius.
You may be able to hire independent contractors to make the process easier, and you may also want to consider hiring a marketing agency. An agency will typically be either full-service or specialized in an area (or areas) of marketing and make creating your dream marketing team an easy step to follow.