Yikes! We are already past the first quarter of 2013 and deep into the second. There’s no more “new car” smell to this year. But it’s not too late to revisit key aspects of your marketing plan and benchmark how well the year is progressing. The year is not too far gone to re-energize your efforts. Marketing plans are organic – they are not carved in stone and fixed for the year. You can and should make adjustments throughout the year. In fact, it’s not even too late to write your 2013 business plan if you have not done so already. As we have said here many times before, the very act of planning is almost as important as the plan itself.
If you have a marketing plan, review your objectives and the tactics you set forth earlier in the year as a part of your active marketing. Your revenue is the number on which you want to give your attention. Have you put into action everything necessary to make your plan work? Remember that having a plan is important, but not nearly as important as actually implementing the plan. Too many companies feel they are working their plan simply because they have one. Action – purely putting yourself into active mode – cures alot of ills.
One of the first exercises everyone rightly undertakes is revisiting and cutting budgets. For that reason, there is seldom a lot of unnecessary expense in a business plan coming out of a recession. However, do make sure that you have cut the right line items. Now is no time to pull back on your marketing expenditures. It is, however, a good time to make certain that you are getting the most out of every marketing effort. Review your choices of marketing venues and measure how well each is performing for you. Are you generating a Return on Investment that justifies your expenditure not only of money but of time and other resources?
It’s also important to remember that you cannot grow a company by making budget cuts – you grow by marketing and making sales. Re-focus your marketing on intense efforts in your local community that require time and energy as opposed to cash resources. Narrow your marketing efforts and concentrate on those techniques on which you are most accomplished. Leave experimental marketing for another time. Right now you need to go with what works and those efforts that are most productive. Typically the most easy and yet overlooked marketing efforts involve networking – getting out into your local community and raising the visibility of your company by acquainting others with your travel planning in a variety of social, civic and business contexts.
Wake up! Grab a broom and clean house. You have a little time to put your game plan into place and to make the balance of 2013 work for you.