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When you’re running your small business, it’s hard to find the time to put your ‘marketing hat’ on. Marketing often tends to be reactive. Maybe you post a social media update through guilt of not having posted for a while, or perhaps a phone call from a local newspaper pressures you into taking an ad you never knew you needed.
This approach is not only stressful but can be hugely inefficient for your business. This can lead to spending time and money on Marketing that perhaps isn’t 100% right for your business and its objectives.
…Time to take a breath…
A marketing healthcheck is a great way to pause for thought and introduce a marketing strategy and planning into your business.
5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Marketing Healthcheck:
1. You advertise only when you’re pestered by people selling advertising
2. Your social media only happens when you remember to do it, rather than it being a planned approach
3. You aren’t clear what your marketing objectives are and how to achieve them
4. You don’t have a marketing strategy
5. You don’t truly understand who your target audience are
If any or all of the issues above are relevant to you, then it’s a good time to take a step back. A marketing healthcheck is a great way to do this.
What is a Marketing Healthcheck?
A marketing healthcheck should be conducted by a marketing specialist and should include the following:
1. Consultation - with the client to understand the business, its objectives, target audience, current marketing activity and marketing materials
2. Analysis – of social media activity and insights, SEO, google analytics, market research and any other relevant marketing measurement tools the client employs
3. Reporting – a full report should be produced with clear feedback on existing marketing activity and recommendations for improving and refining marketing activity going forward
4. Consultation – final meeting with the client to discuss the report and recommendations
When the Healthcheck process is complete, the findings and recommendations can be built into a Marketing strategy to take your business forward. Very often this saves time and money as with clear objectives in mind, decisions can be easily made as opportunities arise, and even better, they can be pre-planned. This enables small business owners to take charge and feel in control of their marketing.
I’ve had my Healthcheck, what’s next?
Once your marketing healthcheck is complete, it’s time to write your marketing strategy. This sounds like a daunting task, but in fact there are many great templates you can use to create yours. Marketing Donut provide great resources for small businesses, take a look at their marketing strategy template as a basis for yours.
Once you’ve written and committed to your strategy, it’s very important to put the tools in place to measure its success. There are a number of free tools at your disposal:
1. Google analytics for website measurement
2. Social media insights and analytics across all social media channels
3. Manual leads trackers such as a spreadsheet
4. Data collection via your website using www.mailchimp.com
5. Market research & client feedback using www.surveymonkey.com or similar
6. Reviews via Facebook or free website plugins such as this WordPress review plugin
As your business grows, your measurement tools will inevitably need to become more sophisticated, but these are a great place to start for a small business.
Analysis of your results will help to inform your annual review of your marketing strategy, creating great marketing habits for your business.
Author: Kate Cotterill at HandBuilt marketing consultancy