If you haven’t yet launched your new business, you’re in luck. Read this before going any further. If not, there may still be hope for you.
A new study reported by eMarketer shows that only 26% of US small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) owners and managers focused on their logos and branding before launching their businesses. This doesn’t bear well for new SMBs. Plus, I have two big problems with this research.
The First Problem
The study was commissioned by 99¢ Designs, an online graphic design company. Its focus is on brand identity which is only one component of Branding. Therefore, the study results feature a lack of focus on developing professional logos and websites. And, that’s just not the whole picture of what SMBs should be doing. Continue reading
Guest post by Daniela Baker
A marketing audit can be a daunting, time-consuming task, but it’s an insightful way to see if your marketing programs are on track. Here are some tips to help make your audit as effective as possible.
1. Know where you are: Gather your sales reports, current marketing plan, and any other marketing-related documents. You can use this information to evaluate where your previous marketing efforts have gone right – and where they’ve gone wrong. It will be easier to come up with a new marketing plan if you have a solid understanding of any flaws or missteps in the first one.
2. Check on your external image: Outside perspective is critical. Speak with current clients, potential clients, vendors, and suppliers – anyone who can give you some insight on your company’s external brand image. Then reconcile that perceived image with the one you want your company to portray. Are they in agreement?
3. Research internally: Your internal image is important as well. Interview current employees for feedback on the company’s marketing communications materials and the business as a whole. Are their perceptions of the image, goals, and culture of the company in line with what the company envisions? Employees may have worthwhile ideas you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.
4. Check for consistency: It’s important that your marketing tactics align with the company’s strategy and that all business touchpoints are consistent, from the brand identity to customer service. Keep this in mind as you assess the current marketing mix and customer protocols.
5. Question your goals: Does your company have clear and measurable goals? Does your team know what they are? How do your marketing efforts fit into those goals?
6. Make use of analytics: Besides your own qualitative analysis, examine any quantitative data you have. Review your Web site or landing page results, social media objectives and results, promotions redemption rate, marketing campaigns, lead generation programs, etc. Make sure your investments are paying off, and if not, tweak whatever is necessary.
A marketing audit can be a lengthy process, but it’s important to fully evaluate what you have done prior to making changes or improvements going forward.
Daniela Baker blogs at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison Web site for small business owners. Follow @CreditDonkey for financial tips and deals.
Edited by Elaine Fogel