How to Keep the Marketing Ball Rolling

As the summer season starts to wind down, it's frightening to think that it's time to start thinking about your fall, winter and 2015 efforts.

Folks in the attractions industry, along with hotels and summer tourist hot spots, do not like for summer to be over, and the words "back to school" are only dared to be whispered!

But some things never change, and kids go back to school each fall no matter how much we dislike or deny it.

For a lot of us marketers, the end of the summer is actually the beginning of the new season. Planning starts now.    Even though a lot of businesses are in the height of the season during the summer, all the advertising and marketing for the summer was planned in the winter and early spring. 

So, even though you might want to take a break, relax and rest up, sorry!  If you haven't started your Halloween marketing, we hope this will scare you into getting that finalized.  Now is the time to be thinking about 2015!

Here are some tips to get the ball rolling:

Review:    Go back and see what you have done this past year and what you can improve on.  It's great to have a recap book to visually see all the marketing strategies and their components that took place. The book can include everything from ads, news releases, e-blasts, signs, social media post, promotions and events.  Recaps will remind you what  marketing strategy was more popular than another, if one idea wasn't as successful, etc. Take notes and be open to new ideas.

Measure your efforts:  Check out the stats! You can measure your efforts through comparing sales year over year, coupon redemption, website visits, guest surveys, returning customers and even through social media. Did your Facebook presence grow from last year? If not, what can you do to improve this? It's important to see which venue was successful and which venue your company might need to make more of an effort in. The facts don't lie!

Research competition:  Competition is good for everyone. Take note on different marketing concepts other companies are using.  Check out their websites and see what kind of contests they are promoting or what the community has to say about them.  Whether you market for a company or if you represent several clients, make sure you take some time to research your yours and client's competitors too.  Are they marketing differently? But keep in mind, just because they are doing something doesn't necessarily mean it is successful!

Work with operations on new features:  Stay up to date on what's in and what is new. Will your business get something new for 2015?   "Selfies" were the talk of 2014, so for a few of our clients we came up with a "Selfie Wall". It is a simple, yet effective way to have your company logo posted all over social media sites.  Talk with your team. See what their ideas are. Maybe they heard of something different that would entice a new customer or grow excitement for an old campaign.

Budget: Look at the numbers. Did your budget for the previous year actually reflect what you spent? Does your company need to increase or decrease anything?  Are you willing to expand?  Your statistics should reflect how much each marketing strategy has promoted their brand or their campaign vs. spending to determine the return on investment as a result to your marketing efforts. Listen to their opinions.

Goals:    Set them. Enough said. Have 1 or have 20.  Just make sure you plan ways to achieve these goals. Write your goals down and refer to them regularly to keep your efforts focused. Sometimes it helps to set dates on when the goal should be achieved by.

Plan:The marketing plan takes everything into consideration and should be designed to achieve your goals.   The plan is the most important part of marketing and can make or break you.  Knowing your audience, having great ideas and spot-on goals mean nothing without well-executed plan.

Marketing is quite cyclical.   Although each season is a fresh start and a new year, our efforts can build upon themselves and improve as we improve and evolve our marketing skills and techniques. At Dion Marketing, we've had a lot of success for our clients with marketing plan development by combining traditional advertising with new media options.  We tailor-make our services to fit each of our clients' needs, to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.  Visit our website to learn more.   Dion Marketing is on the ball!