In order to set New Year's Resolutions and goals I believe it's important to look back on the year that's passed and evaluate your businesses' marketing accomplishments and where they could be improved in the new year. Running a marketing agency business should be no different, right?
However, I've sometimes found that during this process of evaluation, I've been guilty of over-complicating my own marketing review by going into too much detail and sometimes only looking at new business. So, in looking back at 2018, I went back to basics to evaluate our own activities in the three stages of:
I then applied a simple "traffic-light" approach our Marketing. So, following is a scary, but open and honest review that I completed in early January. I hope you can use this in your business to honestly evaluate your marketing and sales performance.
What 2018 looked like
Here’s the rating I gave our marketing efforts for The Marketing Strategy Co over the last 12 months and a brief commentary:
Some observations on 2018
To say, I was disappointed looking at the sea of orange and red with a couple of specs of green is an understatement. I was devastated. So, I took a step back from analysis mode to work out why and here's what I worked out:
First, marketing for a marketing company like ours often gets left to last because our main job is to focus on delivering marketing strategy, content and campaigns and analysis to increase sales for our clients. Like any business the clients must come first. However, it's all too easy to slip into the getting busy "doing the work" and not taking the time to focus on our own business' marketing and sales.
On looking at the table above, I feel a little like the builder who never completes his own house renovations. Plus, I'm feeling guilty about telling clients not to neglect marketing and sales and then doing the same. So, note to me for 2019, make time for our marketing and sales.
Second, the task looks daunting. If I want to improve the overall marketing for our business across all three stages to get the best results, I need to improve what we did with the 2018 strategies above that consisted of
- 13 x lead generation strategies; and
- 8 x customer conversion strategies; and
- 6 x client building strategies.
That is of course in addition to “delivering” our clients' marketing and sales plans and work, managing staff, keeping on top of finances and all the other issues that come with running a business.
Third, I have double the number of lead generation vs conversion and client building strategies in mind.
What if I simplified this
Clearly, I'm setting myself up for failure by trying to do this. So, I need to reduce the number of marketing strategies significantly, let's say 27 to 15.
So, if I'm going to focus on only say 15 strategies across the three stages I'd probably do:
- 8 x lead generation strategies; and
- 5 x customer conversion strategies; and
- 3 x client building strategies.
Then it hit me
What if I took a totally balanced approach of:
- 5 x lead generation strategies; and
- 5 x customer conversion strategies; and
- 5 x client building strategies?
I could get better results across all three areas of the marketing & sales process not just more leads. That's seemed a little scary at first, as that means less new leads, right?
It's risk, but somehow it feels right.
I only have 15 vs 27 strategies to manage and I focus on. And in all likelihood if we had more focus on converting leads and much more focus on client-building our marketing and sales outcomes would be better for our clients in doing so, better for us.
2019 - our year of Balance
So, in 2019 I'm going to be focused on making only 15 key marketing strategies for the Marketing Strategy Co work. And here’s what I want my 2019 end of year evaluation to look like:
These are my 15 strategies for my business, what are you going to work on your three areas of marketing & sales process.
Notice the mainly green and some orange? I've got to admit that feels much better. What also feels better is the balance between all three stages.
So my challenge to you is before you let 2019 get too far underway, take a few hours, do your own traffic light evaluation and consider what balance of marketing and sales strategies you want across all the three stages.
If you want an objective view of your 2018, or someone to cast an independent eye over what you plan for 2019, I'd love to discuss to make this happen for your business. Also if you want a copy of my spreadsheet, to save setting it up just reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me on (02) 9125 0520 or visit our website.