Updated November 2023
Now that the year is almost over, it’s a good time to take a look back and reflect on 2023. In particular, take the time to think about the marketing goals you set, assess your progress, and find areas of improvement before you start your 2024 plan.
Revisiting this article is a good place to start, because it outlines key components every marketing plan should include.
A clear message
How well did you convey your brand message? Did your marketing strategy make it clear to your clients and prospects what you are all about? Do your efforts show how you are different from your competitors?
If you followed our advice and made a list of the main messages you’d like to convey, refer to it now. If you don’t have a list, make one now and use it as a benchmark to compare your efforts against.
If there is any ambiguity in the messages you’ve been delivering, work to refine them. Try narrowing your focus. Here’s an exercise that may be helpful: make a list of your target audience’s greatest needs, then make a list of your greatest strengths. Anywhere these lists overlap is a great place to focus your message.
A consistent message
Have you stuck to your core message throughout the year? Have you repeated and reinforced it enough to stick in the minds of your clients and prospects, so that they associate you and message without having to think about it?
I’m not just talking about the words you use either. Your actions, your clients’ experiences, and even what others say about you, all need to be consistent to have the desired impact.
Look through the marketing and advertising you’ve done in the past year and make note of your messages. In particular, make sure to take a close look at anything that your clients and prospects continue to see on a regular basis, including your website, social media accounts, brochures, and recurring promotions.
Then make any adjustments necessary to provide a consistent message.
A relationship with the audience
Are you investing enough in client retention? If you picked up the phone today and started calling your previous clients, would they answer?
Your chances of doing business with someone increase exponentially when you have a good relationship with them. And they will be much more likely to provide referrals as well.
As you sort through your marketing expenses from this year, separate them into relationship marketing and client acquisition efforts. If you are spending too much time and money going after cold leads, it could be time to reallocate.
The best marketing plans are never complete. You should regularly evaluate what’s working and what’s not and adjust to new opportunities, challenges, and market changes.
Use what you learn in your review of this year’s plan to guide you to greater success in 2024 and beyond. And if you’re interested in exploring a tool that has been successful in generating repeat business and referrals for our clients, take a video tour of our personally branded magazines. They work to keep you top of mind with clients and the people in your sphere and make having follow-up conversation a breeze.
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