Where do you start?
Be clear about your marketing goals. Whether they are to increase your customer base, raise the quality of applicants, re-establish or create a new identity, reverse a misconception, or all of the above, goals must be set prior to the beginning of your marketing plan. This first step forms an overview that enables your team to acknowledge strengths and weaknesses in order to develop a unique plan designed to meet specific needs and expectations.
If your marketing campaign has numerous goals, focus first on specific areas that demand immediate attention. A strong marketing strategy will prioritize goals in order of importance. Targeting too many areas at once will stretch your budget too thin, and none of your goals will be met.
Remember, your product/company is a living organism that will change over time. While long-term plans are ideal as a core structures, it is imperative for monthly and quarterly budgets to be monitored and revised. Expect evaluations and advice, and if you are not receiving any help, perform your own re-evaluation of the company you keep. It is the job of an advertising agency to stay informed of trends and to share that knowledge with you.
An example of a recent trend advertising and marketing agencies alike were forced to work through took place within the automotive industry. For years, it was common practice for annual marketing strategies to plan automotive dealerships’ Q4 advertising toward selling the next year’s lineup, limiting pre-owned vehicle advertising. Our current economic state broke this pattern as buyers’ spending habits decreased dramatically. Pre-owned sales began to surpass new car sales, and advertising creative had to change accordingly.
In Q1 2009, we directed many dealers to continue to feature pre-owned vehicles, in addition to brand new 2009 models. Budgeted dollars for the quarter were adjusted to accommodate the need to reach secondary demographics not originally planned for at the close of 2008. Monitoring customers’ spending habits and adjusting client creative as soon as trends arise is just one way that Davis Advertising works for you everyday.