For years our businesses and services have evolved, but why hasn’t our marketing? Every living creature has to evolve, so shouldn’t our advertising plans? We continuously tell reps to do the same thing we did last year without a flinch. If we understand that times have changed and consumers have altered the way they consume information, why do we keep hitting the repeat button?
According to Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” We have all been guilty of doing this a time or twelve. So maybe we are all insane, or maybe it’s time to take a risk and bring our marketing strategies up to date and force a change within ourselves, and in turn, our customers.
It all starts by going back to the basics. Now is a great time to sit down and ask ourselves some important questions. A SWOT analysis is the perfect way to take a solid look at our marketing efforts and our businesses as a whole. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Below are some good questions to ask when doing this.
What are our best assets?
What sets us apart from our competitors besides customer service?
What are our most profitable products/services?
What areas can we improve on?
Do we lack in time or knowledge?
What does our competition do better than us?
Are there areas we can grow our business?
Can we bring any new products or services to our customers or grow our footprint?
Is our competitor failing to take care of their customers?
Who is our competition?
Are there any regulations affecting us?
Do we have any financial restrictions?
Based on the results of this study, we can follow up with some strategic marketing questions. Who is our target customer? What age group are they in? How do they consume information, traditionally or digitally? What services are we trying to grow? Based on the SWOT analysis, is our marketing matching up with our opportunities and growth goals?
If we continue to pour our entire marketing budget into the same means we’ve used to reach customers for the past two decades, we have epically failed. Make room for mobile. Dabble in the digital world. Surprisingly, the number of people reached vs the dollars spent online almost always costs less than traditional forms of advertising. It’s not about putting all our eggs into one basket, it’s about taking a good solid look at our own businesses and using the correct form of advertising to engage our own customers.