Spring has sprung! It's the season when we begin to put all the distress that winter sometimes offers behind us as we begin to see the outdoors come to life. Trees green, flowers blossom and our gardens begin to grow.
This is a good time of the year to review how your marketing program has been performing and consider making some changes or improvements so this Spring season turns more green for your business.
Sit down with your partner(s) or management team and begin by asking these questions:
1) Was business up or down the past year? Why?
2) How effective were your advertising or promotional dollars? What's your budget for next year?
3) Determine what worked and what did not. Set a baseline goal of what's acceptable for your ad spend. Review your budget for the upcoming year and begin considering ad allocation.
4) Where did a majority of new business come from? Established customers, Referrals, Internet, Trade shows, Magazines, Special promotions, etc.?
Determine which areas you need to concentrate on more heavily?
5) Did you have a mechanism to survey guests, collect E-mail addresses or get customer feedback?
6) How satisfied were your customers, what brings them back and what encourages them to send their friends or business associates?
7) What industry/business changes do you anticipate for the coming year? How can you meet the challenges based upon your forecast?
You'll help yourself by being as honest and forward thinking as possible. Plan to spend a little bit of time each week for as long as it takes on your marketing plan update. Keep returning to it, revising it and creating a substantial road map for marketing into the next season…your future depends upon it.