As small businesses prepare for the new year, we tend to look back and see what worked, what didn’t; what we accomplished and what we’d like to see happen next. Sometimes a fresh perspective and a reminder of what you already know can be helpful in inspiring action.

Today, gift yourself some time to work ON your business, instead of IN it and get ignited for 2023! When looking at end of year marketing strategies to prepare for the new year, consider these 5 reminders:

Know your audience.

Do you know who is buying from you and how often? Do you know their psychographics? Understanding these things are important for decision-making because they help direct your budget and build your list.

For example, if a customer’s average ticket is $200, you are likely to behave differently than if their average ticket is $10. Likewise, if their average ticket is $3,000. There is always a numbers game when it comes to sales and conversions, but if you don’t know your audience, you are likely wasting money on marketing efforts.

In the above example, spending $100 per customer lead for a $10 sale isn’t likely to create a positive return on investment. But that same $100 marketing spend for a $3,000 customer could be.

Understanding their reasons for buying, or psychographics is also helpful. This information can include customer interests, buying preferences, lifestyles, opinions, and values. For example, in the past you have decided to sell products to moms. This is a demographic to focus on. But if you could narrow it down further, for example, to moms who tend to buy green/natural products, you now tapped into a psychographic that makes them more likely to buy from your company over another.

Now may be the time to drill down into your customer base and learn what they might have in common with each other. Tis the season to know your audience.

Know your competition.

Do you know who else your customers buy from? Do you know why? What makes you different? In what ways are you better (to your customer) than your competitor?

If we are in business, it is very likely we have competition – if not, then we market our innovation and will have competition within the week! We always need to be looking at what makes us unique in what or how we present what we offer.

This is where knowing your audience comes in. Think about what your customer cares about and market towards that. For example, do your customers care about pickleball? Can you market your business in a way that connects to that group?

Knowing your competition could also be where you carve out your own niche and make your audience. Think about what you really care about as a company, and build your audience around that. In this case, let’s say your company cares about rescue animals, can you build a marketing strategy that targets other rescue animal lovers? Bissell used this type of strategy. They sell vacuums, just like a lot of competitors, but they set themselves apart by specifically targeting people who love furry friends.

Have a solid brand identity.

When you are looking to stand apart from your competitors, having a solid brand identity is critical. 

Here’s an example of how this works. Imagine you have two friends that you need to purchase a Christmas gift for. One friend, Tina, loves turtles and red wine. The other, Jennifer, has children and two dogs. When you walk into a store and see a candle in the shape of a turtle, you immediately think of your turtle-loving friend Tina. But for Jennifer, you may be stuck doing a Google search for “gifts for women”. Do you see the difference? When it is clear that someone likes something specific, it is much easier to target them.

This is also true for your business. Based on your knowledge of who your customers are, what can now become your unique offer? Personify your business (hint: it should look like your ideal customer) and get really clear about who they are. What makes the customer want to “hang out with them”? Get clear on this and work it to your advantage.

Make data-driven decisions.

Do you have good data? Do you base decisions on the information available? Are there systems in place that generate the data needed easily?

It is hard to make data-drive decisions when there isn’t any data available. Especially when it comes to marketing, systems should be in place to collect information. Furthermore, it should be easy to understand, analyze, and decide on the next course of action. Seeing what is working and doing more of that, and likewise, doing less of what isn’t working, is the key to success.

Marketing should have a positive return on investment, or it shouldn’t be done. Too often business owners see advertising as simply branding, but that is really a strategy for large corporations. Small businesses should be doing marketing that converts into sales, and this should be a clear metric with a positive result.

Don’t go it alone.

In what ways do you bring outside experience and experts into decision-making? Where might objectivity help create more innovation this year? 

If all these tips seem overwhelming, it is likely because some objectivity is lacking. This is where outside perspectives can be helpful. Marketing companies, business coaches and even internal staff with different ideas can come together to help offer support and suggestions.

In business, being a lone wolf rarely leads to success. Innovation comes about when everyone can bring their best to the table. This does mean they need to be asked for their opinions, insight and expertise. 

Can we help?

That’s a rhetorical question – of course we can!

From promotional products to data-driven direct mail, printing and fulfillment, our custom marketing campaigns can help you achieve the sales results you desire for your small business this year. Guidance, inspiration, and expertise are what set us apart.

Contact us today to speak to a representative to make your 2023 your best year yet.