This year has flown by. Spring has arrived and before you know it, the end of the year will be upon us. But whilst the end of year is in sight, have you completed your marketing plan for 2024?
A good marketing strategy is like a road map; a clearly defined and carefully considered path leading you towards your ultimate business goal, whatever that might happen to be.
From determining the value that you’re offering, your positioning, to truly understanding your market, competitors, and customers, it’s one of the most essential pieces of successful business planning. Yet it’s also one of the most overlooked.
When you’re so entwined in the everyday running of your business and managing the inevitable spot fires, it can be hugely difficult to see the way forward. In fact, when things get busy it can sometimes be a struggle to even see the way to next working day! But it is essential.
Doing so requires taking a step back from the day-to-day operations in the business. Or, perhaps more realistically, finding someone else who can do it on your behalf. Often engaging a third party who you trust, can drive superior marketing outcomes, as it ensures greater impartiality, less emotional attachment and a far wider experience base drawn from many different businesses, brands, and industries over many years.
Specialist marketing skills to drive your business forward.
Just as you engage a lawyer for legal matters, an insurance broker for protecting your assets, or an advisor for financial planning, independent marketing expertise can be critical to the success of your business.
A strong and clear strategic direction can help to establish your brand, generate leads, drive sales, and build the team required to enjoy sustained future success. Trouble is, due to financial constraints many small to medium sized business owners opt to lead the marketing and strategy functions themselves which – in addition to stretching their already scarce time resources to breaking point – can hinder the success of their marketing initiatives.
The challenges are magnified even further if marketing isn’t your core area of expertise in the first place, a common problem for many business leaders.
So, what are your alternatives?
If your budget allows it’s worth considering employing a full-time Marketing Manager who is always on-hand to lead your marketing strategy and the implementation of your programs. But, an increasingly popular option is to engage a part-time senior marketing consultant to bring expertise in-house at a lower (pro rata) cost base.
The advantages of this approach are three-fold. Firstly, you only pay for what you actually need when you need it. Secondly an external marketing consultant could provide you with access to a breadth of marketing professionals and their collective experiences. Finally, working with a nimble external partner, can help you get things done quickly instead of it staying in your too hard basket.
In short, it’s a simpler and smarter way to execute the marketing strategies and initiatives you need to flourish as a business. If you’re keen to discuss your marketing preparation for 2024, we’d be happy to learn more about your business over a coffee.