The start of the new Financial Year is to businesses what New Year is to individuals. It’s a time to reflect on the year that’s been and set some new goals. At RUBYLANEE, we see this time as a good opportunity for companies to evaluate their marketing strategy and set themselves up for long-term success.
But how should you go about this?
Having built a fair few marketing strategies for B2B/B2C companies over the years, we’ve put together some marketing strategy ‘Do’s and Don’ts’.
DO CREATE QUARTERLY FOCUS AREAS
At RUBYLANEE, we build marketing strategies around three-month focused sprints, backed up by ongoing nurturing. And by ‘nurturing’, we mean engaging prospective customers in ongoing conversations.
With this approach, momentum is built up and maintained in each focus area; and prospects are nurtured along what we call ‘the buyer R.A.C.E.R.’ – that is, the different steps a buyer takes before they’re ready to buy your product/service.
If you nurture your prospects, for example by sending regular, relevant information to their inbox, then you’re going to be top of mind when they reach the point where they’re ready to buy. This continued interaction with prospects, targeting their needs, is vital.
DON’T JUST FOCUS ON FINITE CAMPAIGNS
A major problem with taking a campaign approach is that there’s a lot of initial marketing effort, but no ongoing nurturing. When planning a finite campaign, always ask yourself two questions:
How long is the marketing activity planned for?
What is your sales lead time?
In our world, a campaign push is typically three months. If your sales lead time is longer than that, and you haven’t factored in any nurturing, you’re not going to see great results.
We’ve been in meetings with businesses who want to plan out a three-month marketing campaign when they have a sales lead time of 18 months. They may get lucky with a few leads that happened to be ready to buy at that moment – but what about the rest that may just need a bit of nurturing?
DO SEGMENT YOUR BUDGET PER FOCUS AREA
By thinking of your budget this way, you’ll see how your ongoing marketing spend is split and which area of your business it is impacting.
Choose very clear focus areas (these can be quarterly or half-yearly) and decide which one you want to start with. Once you’ve agreed on this internally (a great activity to get everyone working towards the same goal), then work out who you are selling to, and what benefits your solution offers them.
Being able to track marketing spend per focus area (usually a product or service offering) means instead of seeing one number that gets spent on “marketing”, you’ll be able to track which focus area is being impacted the most and where the main successes are.
DON’T FORGET YOUR GOALS!
The start of a new Financial Year is the time to revisit your business goals. Obviously, your main goal is to grow your business and there are many approaches to doing that.
If your company requires a period of consolidation, the focus might be on strengthening your existing customer relationships and improving internal communications. If you are in a high growth phase, your focus may be on new customer acquisition and staff recruitment.
Your marketing approach will be different for different business goals and therefore the way you track your marketing ROI will vary too.
DO PRIORITISE SIGN-OFF
The single biggest issue we encounter that slows marketing momentum is the inability to prioritise sign-off on marketing work. We get it. We experience this in our own business. Sometimes signing off on marketing can be dismissed as an irritating ‘extra’ thing to do.
However, it’s essential that senior staff realise that if they’re allocating budget to marketing in the next Financial Year, they need to put aside regular time each week to sign work off. Remember: marketing needs to reflect senior staff’s vision of the business, so sign-off is something that can’t be delegated.
At RUBYLANEE, we manage the sign-off aspect with our customers and recognise their pains. We are currently experimenting with new ways to make it easier for people to sign off work.
Now is the time to work on your marketing strategy. If you were to engage with RUBYLANEE by the end of July, we would:
Have your strategy mapped out and a bunch of core marketing assets created for your first focus area by the end of Q1.
Move your marketing into ongoing nurturing and activating your next focus area by October.
It’ll be Christmas before we know it – so the sooner you get your strategy mapped out, the higher chance you have of reaching potential prospects before they head off to the beach over summer.
And just a side note on this – as we point out in a previous blog, “PropTech companies – make sure you’re not making this huge marketing investment mistake” – no company should start promoting their services/products before mapping our their strategy and creating core assets. So it’s time to get cracking!
RUBLANEE takes on a limited number of customers so we can prioritise doing a quality job. Get your marketing strategy set for the year ahead and sign up for your FREE start of Financial Year strategy and review phone consultation.