So much of my time is spent talking about the galactic and profound in marketing, that sometimes it is hard to remember that business happens every day and we need to focus on the near term as well. In the past week or so it has become apparent that the economy is in a "wobbly state" and focusing exclusively on 2012 and 2013 is not prudent. So, to that end, I was thinking that I would share six things that I would recommend a marketing professional do before October 1st.
1. Update your analytics: Check your tags, check your funnels, check your visor pathway analytics, check your key word tracking and double check what you are counting. Does your KPI dashboard actually reflect things that will drive your business or are they merely marketing metrics?
2. Change your Email Marketing: Update your templates and images, change your subject lines, modify your offers to your customer's new realities, make sure your list is healthy and create a few more segments and groups. Personalized, fresh, value based messages will positively impact your response rates and can impact your sales this day, week, month and quarter. Don't just think in terms of the holiday offers, think in terms of your customer's everyday needs.
3. Does your social presence reflect your brand and personality? Double check your Facebook page – does it give a reason to like you? Does it have content that would compel you to return, comment and share? Does it facilitate a new sale or referral? What about your twitter background? And for that matter your tweet strategy? Is it overly promotional and offer-driven, vs. insightful, value-adding and conversational? Review your twitter messaging and make sure you would want to receive it if you didn't work for your company? More importantly - would you want to share it with your network? If LinkedIn is part of your presence (and it should be) does your company use it to create and maintain a leadership position? Would people want to work for you or with you if LinkedIn was all they could learn about you before deciding? Are you adding value to your network? Or are you only taking from others? Maybe worse, not even doing anything at all? As a B2B marketer, you could be missing out on end of year sales and opportunities by not investing in LinkedIn. Lastly, FREE VIDEO Distribution - aka your YouTube Channel – what new content have you created, curated and posted this summer? If it's not a lot, it is not too late; you can add high value content, calls to action, SEO impacting links and publish it for free. No brainer, but you are already behind, so you need to start now.
4. Mobilize yourself: Make sure your website is usable on a mobile device. Take an iPhone, Droid and Blackberry and look at your site on the browser - do you like what you see? Can you do the three most likely actions that you would want your customer to take when they access your site from their phone? If not, fix those pathways and improve your chances of making an impact in 4th quarter. If you have not begun app development now is probably the time to mobilize your site and do the planning for an app to launch 1st quarter 2012.
5. Blogging: The quickest way to increase your site traffic and improve your position in your marketplace is to blog right now. If you have never blogged before, start off small and work towards a full strategy. But if you have done it off and on, I would suggest you do it consistently for the rest of the year. I'm going to try to do one a week personally; my organization does 6-10 a week so we are very much vested in communicating our point of view to the world. One tip that I would suggest is to think about what you said at your last cocktail party, backyard barbeque or at happy hour with co-workers about what you were doing or what is going in with your business. This is a good starting point. As a matter of fact, this post is based on just such a conversation with some co-workers regarding what could we do to help our customers make an impact this year, if they have not started an initiative as of yet.
6. Landing Pages: This is always an area where I think a big bang for the buck exists. If you have not looked at your landing pages from start to finish in the last 30 days, it is a great thing to do right now. Type in the keywords that will trigger your visitors starting point and then click through as if you were them trying to solve the problem they have when conducting a search. When you do this, does it all flow as you would hope? Could you perform the action you desire if you did not know the site, product or services as well as you do? If yes, then ask your significant other, best friend or best customer to do the same thing while you watch (mouth closed, hands behind your back and no grunting) - if they can't do the same actions as well as you, then you have an opportunity to improve your 4th quarter performance right away. (By the way, if you cannot do it first, don't waste their time, just get to work).
Now there are some bonus things to think about and I'll share them in a few days. But if you can begin to address the above list and actually get them done by October 1st, you will have a better 4th quarter than if you didn't and your 2012 will be off to a strong start.
Michael Kogon is CEO of Definition 6, the unified marketing agency he founded in 1997. Michael has consistently refined the agency's focus over the years, helping it evolve from the largest independent digital agency in the Southeast to one of the fastest-growing unified marketing agencies in the country. Michael can be reached at Michael.Kogon@definition6.com.
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