Before you begin your marketing, you need strategy. Who will you target? What’s the best positioning message? Which media will you use to communicate that message to your market? And how will you measure success? Yes, strategy must come first.
But without the implementation and execution of marketing tactics — cost effective tactics — you’ll never realize the strategic marketing plan. This post is about the resources you need to get it done!
If you’re working on your company’s marketing, but not sure where to find the tools to take that next step to realize your marketing and branding strategy, you may find some resources here that will help:
Dot Calm web design in Mohawk Valley Utica, New York: Success tools such as websites, software and other products that promote a smooth workflow and make the job easier. Veronika Freeman (@dotcalm) lists a dozen “must have” resources for marketing and design professionals. I like how she described each resource next to its logo.
In house marketers can learn and build strategy with my business friend Ivana Taylor, who has more ideas and energy than 12 experts. She shares generously at DIY Marketers and on her tweet chat #DIYMKT click here to learn how to attend her seminars on Twitter. Next chat features Jennifer Cox of National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP).
You’ll also want to check out Understanding Marketing. They feature tons of “Do-It-Yourself” marketing and PR information, providing advice to small businesses in every industry to help you remain competitive and also realize tight budgets.
Bonus (or Curse!) Here’s an overwhelming list of resources — not for the beginner — that’s for sure! Via Twitter @tocki from The Global Social Media Network, from Peter Kim. This exhaustive list of resources made my head spin, but may be helpful for the more seasoned professional who is looking for just the right tool and have something very specific to find.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something important. What is your Number ONE marketing and branding resource?
With a crazy week of wild winds over the weekend and then bad news from the financial markets, many business owners may be feeling a bit uncertain… and even scared about moving forward with their entrepreneural efforts. Today’s post is dedicated to getting centered again, moving forward and sustaining business.
I like to think of myself as a cautious optimist. I definitely see the glass half full, but I’m debt adverse. My parents always told me the keys to sustaining a business: Pay yourself first. Don’t spend more than you make. Reinvest the profits. But how do you keep the faith to move forward?
During uncertain times, I think it’s helpful get perspective. Stay inspired. I find that often companies want to pull back and decide to cut their marketing budgets, just at the very moment they should be moving forward.
Still feeling uncertain? Check out Barry’s Bounce book here. His book is filled with life stories of business professionals who learned to Bounce! One of Barry’s lessons in getting over the failure and moving into the next phase:
Drive where you want to go.
Accept the results you get.
Build the life you want.
Who can argue with that!!?
What do you think about cutting the marketing budget when things get uncertain?
Do you regularly re-evaluate your marketing program? When was the last time? July is the month to take a look at your plan. Here are key questions that manufacturing firms should ask about their marketing:
What is our Strategic Market Focus?
How do customers view our company?
How do we evaluate our customer service and interaction?
What is the interaction between marketing and other areas in our company?
What methods do we use for new product development, product pricing, identification of customer requirements, competitive intelligence?
What is our market niche, and how should we market to it?
What is our current product/ pricing mix and should it be adjusted?
How should we improve our current marketing plans?
These are big questions, but they are also the types of strategic and tactical problems that every manufacturing business should ask. If you are in charge of marketing for a manufacturing firm, this is the month to pull out the most recent marketing plan and re-evaluate it. Using these 8 questions may help you to find an area that needs to be improved.
Next month - pulling together the first pass at the 2009 marketing budget. By reviewing these questions now, you’ll be more prepared for creating the 09 marketing budget and it will seem less daunting.