Well, the excess of Christmas Day is over. (And I hope you had a good one)
Now, though, our thoughts turn to the aftermath and new beginnings. For many of us, a New Year means a new approach to our wellbeing, whether it’s a detox, weight loss programme or just trying to get fit again.
It’s no surprise why most keep fit DVDs are released on Boxing Day.
The dichotomy of excess and frugality is stark at Christmastime. On one day you’re stuffing your face; the next you’re thinking about how you’re going to shed the pounds you’ve accumulated.
Reflecting on our wellbeing at the end of the year is a natural point to look back. Everything is up for reassessment at the end of year to make sure we’re on track in the coming 12 months.
While we’re taking an overview of all aspects of our life in 2013, why not spend a little time thinking about the health of your marketing? Let’s check the pulse of your marketing before we get into 2014 with a few questions:
Is it skinny and ineffectual?
How much attention did you lavish on your marketing plans in 2013? If it was very little, what impact did it have on your business? Were you reluctant to take the risk of advertising or running a direct mail campaign to build your business, instead preferring to do it the way you’d always done it? If you knew your marketing efforts couldn’t fail, what would you have done?
If your marketing plan (if you had a marketing plan) was under-utilised, think why this was. Was it cost, time or effort derailing your plans?
Or has your marketing grown fat and bloated?
Were the majority of your sales from one source or did it come from several marketing sources? Were there only a couple of sources from which most of your business came from? Most importantly, how effectively did you measure your return on investment from each source?
Take an close-in view of your marketing in 2013 and make an honest assessment about the effectiveness of each strand.
For those channels under-performing or not performing at all, consider a serious health check and appropriate regime to repair the problem. If it needs attention and could be performing better, treat it like a strength-training programme and build up the effectiveness of your marketing again incrementally, checking it is hitting the mark at regular intervals.
If it’s not working, think in terms of weight loss. Trim the fat of the sources which simply did not bring sufficient return to justify the time, effort and investment. Be honest. Then be ruthless.
Because the point of all this is you want your marketing to be…
Lean and muscular.
By this, I mean every element of your marketing plan needs to be working efficiently and effectively. Every marketing dollar should see a return. No vanity marketing in the form of brand building. No leafletting or billboard advertising, just because everyone else does it. Think lean.
Every penny you spend on your advertising needs to count. Done properly, your marketing should punch well above its weight. That’s what I mean by muscular. When you see an opportunity, you only need to flex the metaphorical biceps of your marketing machine and grab the revenue and profits in your sights.
Take the time to do this and it’ll keep your business in good health in 2014.
Good luck, and have a great New Year.