Refresh your marketing strategy in 2017

11th January 2017

The start of a new year is a great time to take stock of the last twelve months and to look ahead to the future; while we often do this in our personal lives, it’s easy to get wrapped up in day-to-day tasks and forget to reflect on our work. If reviewing your marketing strategy seems too daunting in the post-Christmas rush, here are our recommendations for four essential areas to assess in January.

1. Where are you going?

Look at your business objectives for 2017. Are your current marketing activities tailored to help you achieve these objectives? Creating a marketing strategy – or updating your existing strategy - will ensure that your marketing plan is aligned to overall company objectives as well as your marketing and brand ones. Make sure your plan is integrated across all channels to maximise your results. If this seems like a daunting task, focus on one area of your strategy at a time; you might want to start with a key product or service target and move on to specific plans for different channels, for example.

2. What’s happening this year?

Are you aware of what’s going on within your industry this year? Fill your 2017 calendar with any relevant events both within your own business and in the wider industry, and plan how you can use these events to promote your brand. Having a presence at events is a great way to gain new leads and strengthen existing business relationships.

It’s also a good time to check the entry deadlines for industry awards. It’s easy to miss these deadlines if you don’t make a note of them, which could mean missing out on recognition for your work! If you’d like some expert help when writing your awards submissions, get in touch with us today – we won two national awards in 2016.

3. Is your content up to scratch?

There’s so much buzz around ‘content marketing’ that it’s hard to find a brand that doesn’t have its own blog. It’s important that your business don’t simply create content for content’s sake, however, as churning out content that your customers don’t care about could harm your brand.

Have a look at the content you produced in 2016 – was it timely, relevant and interesting to your customers? Google Analytics will reveal your most popular pieces of content, which you can use to inform future pieces. Brainstorm ideas for content this year, looking at the calendar you’ve created to ensure that you have content prepared for the important macro/micro events coming up in 2017. If you could use some more advice on creating quality content, download our free content guide.

4. Do you have a clear brand personality?

Once you’ve created a content plan, it’s important to make sure that everyone within your business understands your key brand messages. There’s no harm in going back to basics and talking about your key brand principles – we often find the best way to get everyone on board is by holding a branding workshop, involving staff from each department to get a clear idea of your marketplace and your position within it.

You should explore what makes your brand different to your competitors – how can you provide a better product/service to your customers? (It’s also wise to check that you can deliver on these promises!). Once everyone has a clear idea of your brand and your company proposition, focus on creating your voice; whether you decide that it will be formal or colloquial, it should be consistent, with customers receiving the same messages whether they’re interacting with your business on social media or speaking to a member of staff on the phone.

 

Following these four steps is great way to make sure that your marketing strategy is fit for 2017, but if you’re looking to take your marketing even further, we’ve got it covered! From strategy and propositions to design and social media, we can help you out – talk to us today