Annual Marketing Checkup

Advertising is a crucial element for the prosperity of ANY business, irrespective of the sector. The presence or absence of marketing often dictates a company's level of success or the speed at which it falls to competitors.

For sustained growth and success, it's vital to regularly evaluate the company's marketing strategies (at least once a year). This evaluation should scrutinize what's effective, what's not, and identify potential enhancements that could boost chances of success.

Traditionally, prosperous companies dedicate time to scrutinize marketing data that includes:

Regular evaluations ensure that future marketing efforts are proactive and successful, rather than reactive and merely sufficient.

Regular examination of the following elements offers the best opportunity for successful marketing campaigns:

  1. Target Market & Goals
  2. Branding & Logo
  3. Signage & Location
  4. Marketing Materials
  5. Web Presence
  6. Local SEO, Presence & Reviews
  7. Social Media Presence
  8. Competition
  9. Referrals

Target Market & Goals

Identifying a company's target market is a crucial step in creating a roadmap to marketing success and achieving set goals:

  • Understanding the target market is vital for generating new leads and sales.
  • Understanding the audience is necessary for planning strategies to effectively reach the target.
  • Understanding the conversion end-goal is essential for creating effective steps for achievement.

Even well-established businesses should frequently reassess their efforts due to the constant changes in practices, consumer behaviors, and industries. Assuming that nothing has changed is a recipe for future failure.

Ensure that the company's target market and goals align with the marketing efforts being implemented.

For Example:

If a home furnishing company's target demographic is suburban women in their 40's, then marketing strategies must be designed to reach these women in their daily routines. Marketing to anyone else, or anywhere else often results in wasted resources and capital.

Branding & Logo

Evaluation and review of the company's brand image and logo are essential, whether it's a start-up or a long-established business.

A company's branding must stay current, reflect modern trends, and be integrated into all aspects of the business.

  • Branding distinguishes a company from its competitors, making it easily recognizable to potential customers.
  • Ensure the image is appealing and attractive to the industry's target market and audience.
  • Ensure the brand accurately mirrors the company's mission, goals, and industry standing.
  • Research important factors including color usage, and how each color affects user perception.

Once a company's brand is established, ensure that branding is consistent across all marketing materials and efforts.

Branding should be incorporated into all aspects of the company. Every piece of the company (e.g., business cards, packaging, pens, bank checks, letterhead, envelopes, etc.) are opportunities to increase brand awareness while generating new leads and sales.

Signage & Location

The significance of signage and location are often overlooked in the daily operations of a business. However, a company's signage and location can often be a determining factor of their success or failure.

A company can have the best location in terms of traffic. However, if the business lacks easily identifiable signage that clearly directs traffic to the business, then consumers often become discouraged, give up, and go elsewhere.

The company's physical location should utilize every possible opportunity to draw attention to the business with appropriate signage:

  • If the business has large retail windows, then use that space to attract consumers' attention.
  • If a business is allowed to put out signage on the sidewalk to draw attention, then do so.
The key to successful location signage is to utilize and optimize all available and accessible company real estate.

Advertising on the company's own property is a cost-effective way to promote; make use of space already paid for and included within a lease.

Marketing Materials

Review the company's marketing materials (such as business cards, brochures, flyers, pamphlets, and other marketing materials) to ensure all materials are current, providing the necessary information and resources needed for prospects to choose one company over another.

The questions for assessing materials may differ from one industry to another. However, most all materials should review basic marketing analysis factors.

For example:

Do all material pieces complement each other, and clearly identify consumer benefits of the products or services; versus discussing features?

Successful marketing materials work together, emotionally relating how the features solve a customer's problem. The solution is the benefit, from the customer's point of view; this solution (benefit) must be clear and concise.

Benefits are what entice consumers to purchase and complete the sale, NOT ambiguous features of a product or service.

Another important factor is to ensure all materials have distinctive and clear CTA's (Calls to Action) leading the customer to the end-goal; whether that be to convert to a lead or sale.

Online Presence

An online presence is essential to any industry. Whether a simple informational website, a custom-database-intensive web application, or something else; the company's presence must be easily found with a clear mission.

As with other marketing, a company's online presence needs to be reviewed regularly for optimal success and revenue generation opportunities.

Local SEO, Presence & Reviews

Local presence for "near me" and "around me" search results are essential for success in local & regional markets.

There are several Local SEO factors imperative to being found by consumers searching "near me" or "around me". The following factors play a significant role in generating qualified traffic, leads, and sales both locally & regionally:

Google uses accurate and consistent Name, Address, & Phone (NAP) information as a major factor when ranking for Local search results.

Google also places heavy emphasis on Customer Reviews as a factor for recommended SEO practices and better ranking results.

Social Media Presence

Since social media is today's version of "Word-of-Mouth" marketing, it's important to regularly review and assess a company's social media presence.

For optimal success, all of a company's social media profiles should be connected to the company's main website presence. This helps improve the potential of perspective qualified leads finding them on related social platforms and media.

While social media is important, not all social media platforms will benefit each company or industry equally. Analyzing what social media platform best works for each industry and business is something that takes time and proper research.

Ideally, a business should be available on most any social media platform for the sake of awareness, coverage, and claiming the company's brand.

However, additional time and effort should be invested on those social platforms which most benefit the business, industry goals, and reach the intended target market & demographic.

For example:

If a company's target audience is business owners, then more effort should be allocated to such business-centric social platforms such as LinkedIN or Alignable, versus Instagram.


When conducting an annual review of a company's marketing tactics and efforts, it's necessary to examine the competition.

Evaluating the competitors' tactics, their level of success, and areas they could improve, provides insight into how to enhance one's own business by capitalizing on others' ignorance or failures.


An often successful, yet highly under-utilized method of marketing, is asking current, satisfied clients for referrals.

Many businesses neglect to ask current clients if they know anyone who could benefit from their services; yet they have many satisfied customers who would happily provide referrals of colleagues if only asked.

Offering an incentive, such as a discount on a month's service, can encourage current clients to take the extra minute of their time to reach out and let you know who they know that may benefit from using the company.

Being referred by a friend or colleague often "warms up" a prospect, making them more open and likely to discuss their needs freely and in-depth.

Wrapping It Up

Ignoring marketing is the worst strategy for a business. Even in financially challenging times, there are ways to improve sales and generate new leads with various forms of marketing; albeit limited budgets require a more focused and well-planned campaign tactic.

Whether spending only $5.00 for some targeted social media ads, or using other effective low-cost methods; there are always affordable ways to generate leads and sales using cost-effective advertising strategies.

By reviewing a company's marketing strategies on an annual basis, one will have a fresh perspective that can identify areas for improvement of advertising tactics, and increase a company's bottom line.

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