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Let’s make 2021 one of the best.

At the end of one of the strangest years I have ever lived through, rather than look back, I am looking forward and encourage you to do the same.

It was Fill the Gap Marketing’s 10th anniversary this year, 2020, and we had grand plans that all had to go on hold . . but we made the best of it and have actually had a better year this year than we did last year. This is testament to our amazing customers and my amazing team who I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart.

Both the FTG team and our customers have worked closely together to ensure we have come out of this strongly– it truly is amazing what can be achieved by working together and with a lot of positive thinking, action and great people.

So on to 2021. Onwards and upwards as they say. Over the Christmas period I recommend business owners and managers think about the following ten things, ready to kick off 2021 in style.

Marketing checklist

1. I know 2020 was crazy, but reviewing what worked and what didn’t is still worth doing (in a normal year this is imperative). Have you learnt anything from the crisis? Added something new that you may not otherwise have done, and it worked really well? Will you carry on doing it? Anything you wished you could have done? Should have done? Will now do?

2. Think again about your ideal customer. Your target market. Your buyer persona. Who are they? What are their problems? How do you solve them? If you could describe your ideal customer – what would they look like – either B2C or B2B – you should have a very clear profile in your mind. This is an essential part of your marketing process.

3. So, what do you mean to them? What ‘position’ do you hold in their minds? (cheap, expensive, quality, local, fast, tasty, practical, effective etc etc?). This is branding really. What do you stand for? Can you write it down in one line? What problem do you solve, who for and how do you solve it? If you don’t have your one liner’, try and do this.

4. E.g. ours is, ‘We provide cost effective, on-demand strategic and tactical marketing solutions for small and medium sized businesses, who don’t have their own marketing team.’

5. Then look at your marketing communications. Do they reflect this positioning statement? Does all your messaging align with this? Is it consistent? Is it reflected in your brand identity (your logo and the images you use and anything else that demonstrates your brand eg uniforms, shop front, invoice layout etc).

6. Channels. Are you communicating to your target market in the best way? Are you utilising the right channels? The ones where they are most likely to see your messages for the best return on investment? Are you still advertising in print because you have always done that? When was the last time you checked what your customers are reading? Or what social media channels they are on? Or why they buy from you?

7. TIP Carry out a customer survey – hugely recommended – very useful. Survey Monkey is a free tool for this. (or we can write the survey and do everything for you from as little as £250+VAT). Great businesses have customers at their very heart. The more you know about your customers, the better you can look after them, the better you can communicate with them.

8. Are you measuring your marketing? When was the last time you looked at your Google Analytics or social media statistics? Do this now. Find out what is working and what isn’t and find ways to improve.

9. Do you have a business plan? Do you have a marketing plan? What are your objectives? You need something measurable to aim for. Your marketing plan is a tool to help you to deliver your business plan. Make it ambitious but not unrealistic. SET TARGETS.

10. Have you got processes in place to generate leads / fill your pipeline / get customers through your door? If not, you should create a funnel or funnels. Your marketing needs to walk potential customers through a process . .they need to know, like, trust (try), buy, repeat buy and then refer you to others (ideally). This is the communication continuum. I love that phrase! Alliteration at its best!

11. Are you keeping your eye on the market, your competitors, the changing needs and demands of your customers / potential customers? What could their future needs be? Think ahead, not just for today.

12. Have you got a contingency plan in place if the current crisis continues for longer than we all hope or kicks in again at another time? Don’t be left like a rabbit in the headlights if it happens again. Have a plan ready. There is no excuse next time. Let’s hope we don’t need it hey.

Wishing you and yours the most wonderful Christmas. Together or apart, enjoy the break.

If you need any help with your marketing in the New Year, please do take us up on our offer of a complimentary marketing consultation – it truly is entirely at our expense and with no strings attached. Kick start 2021 and book yours today.

Wishing you every success.
Stay happy and healthy
Joanne