In our last installment, ‘Chad’ and his group planned and executed a series of three marketing events in the course of a year. Each event had great participation, and the end results got the team ready to take on even more. In this final installment, we’ll watch them move off the dime and see where they go next.
Execute, Evaluate, Elevate
Chad’s team sat down at the end of their first marketing year to look back at their successes and where they needed to improve. First they considered the goals they’d set.
Increase name recognition of the company
For partnerships in the community for future marketing endeavors
Forge closer relationships with existing customers, and draw in new ones
Since the company was proactive in publicizing each event, it was impossible that the company name was not more visible than previously. Linking it to interesting, fun or socially-conscious events also served to fill in some gaps in people’s mind as to what Chad’s company stood for. Good job.
As they worked out the details of each event, they began to build a roster of community partners they can work with again. Media, local non-profits and surrounding retailers have all been put on the list as potential sources of support. Chad’s company has also joined their lists, and they can expect to be called on in the future, as well. Again, a win.
Chad’s customers enjoyed the events. Many came by on the day of one or more event to take part. Some had friends with them. In all, the team was able to nearly double its email list because people wanted to enter drawings or be involved in what was going on. Now they have a bigger pool of people to continue to promote themselves to in the coming year. An email list should be growing, not shrinking. They’re going to find new ways to keep that happening.
With all that good stuff under their belts, the team faced the fact that some things didn’t work. The way they laid out the events was a bit quirky, some vendors didn’t show up on the designated day, a retail partner backed out at the last moment. They learned from each situation, however, and vow to do better.
Now it’s time to see what new heights they can reach with a fresh marketing calendar.
New Year, New Goals
Last year’s goals were good for a first attempt. This year, the team wants to make more measurable benchmarks for their plan to reach. Regardless what marketing events they select, they want to:
See a sales bump of at least 10% surrounding each event, due to the increased promotion.
Seek out at least two marketing opportunities in the community that somebody else is putting on (a walk for charity, a cultural event, etc.) so they get a bump without all the work.
Try to get every single customer to give an email address, and utilize them for steady, trackable newsletters, offers and informative pieces that customers like to read. Use iContact or another service and regularly evaluate open rates, click-throughs, etc.
In other words, this next year they are going to work smarter, not harder. Piggybacking on events by others dilutes your company’s impact, but doesn’t have to eliminate it. It means your team focuses on what they do best—cleaning clothes—while still building the company’s brand in the community. There will still be work involved, but it’s cooperative work.
By putting numbers to thing (sales increase, how many events with partners, how many email addresses to add to the list) it gives the team new ways to evaluate their efforts. Chad doesn’t want everybody’s ‘gut feel’ of how well something worked to be the way they decide if they succeeded. You can’t put a gut feel on a wall chart to show progress.
The team is also aware that it would be easy to get burned out if the same people do all the work each time. They were nearly flat after they finished the final event last year! So they will find others in the company who are interested in participating and rotate members on and off the planning team. The worst thing a marketing team can do is fall into a rut or get stale. By its very nature, marketing must be fresh and intriguing. So bringing in people with different ideas and skills will help shake things up in a good way.
The biggest win for Chad and his team is that they are no longer looking at the marketing calendar as ‘something to get through.’ It may cover 12 months, but there’s always a succeeding 12 months after that… and after that. Marketing is a mindset, not a quick race. His team is ready to look to the future, increasing their goals and tightening their planning abilities, over a period of years.
Do you have marketing goals you’re willing to share with us? Do you have a team of people working to forward them? Tell us about your firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becca Anderson spent 17 years in public relations, advertising and corporate PR before joining Fabricare Canada in 2000. She was named editor in 2013, and welcomes feedback about the magazine via the contact form on this site.