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The best way to prepare mentally for marketing in 2017 is to start fresh, with a clean slate. For the moment, forget about what you accomplished and failed to accomplish with your marketing in 2016; set aside all the baggage of frustrations and disappointments you picked up along the way. Think as if you are starting from scratch and ask yourself: What is the one thing we must accomplish with marketing in 2017?
That is really the key question. Small businesses have limited resources — limited funds and limited time — so focus is of the essence! Many small businesses go around in circles with marketing because they dabble, trying to do a little bit of everything instead of trying to do one thing really well. Avoid this trap and you’ve already got a leg up on the competition going into 2017.
Where to focus: new business
If you’re not sure what the “one thing” is, let me be so bold as to offer a suggestion: The “one thing” to focus on is new business generation — sales leads and/or e-commerce revenue. Here are the advantages of focusing on new business generation:
- Marketing goals such as brand awareness, customer engagement and reputation building are all well and good, but for small businesses, they are unaffordable frills if the business isn’t bringing in an increasing amount of profitable revenue.
- Goals for new business generation can be established with precision. Soft targets like brand recognition usually leave small business leaders perpetually wondering whether their marketing is doing any good.
- You should make sure you evalute your New business generation marketing performance accurately. At the end of 2017, you’ll know how much you spent on marketing and how much you made on your investment.
- Because business generation can be clearly defined and assessed, marketing campaigns can be continually reviewed and improved throughout 2017 by testing different prices, offers, marketing channels, website (Facebook,twitter,BBM,website ads) — whatever variables your data, customer feedback and gut instincts tell you is important.
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