Putting the Cart Before the Horse- Assessing Your Marketing Efforts Part 1

Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand. In some companies products and services are developed, marketing materials are created and then distributed to the sales team. This is Marketing Driven Sales. In some cases, the products and services exist and the sales team is selling them and the sales team requires marketing materials to sell the products or services better. This is Sales Driven Marketing.

No matter whether your company follows Marketing Driven Sales or Sales Driven Marketing, your efforts need to be cohesive. And before you can have cohesive marketing efforts, you first need to have direction. Just as it does no good to put the cart before the horse, it does no good to throw money at marketing and advertising if you haven’t yet defined a goal and made a plan.

  • Do you have a Business Plan? Your business plan helps define your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; your products, services and those of your competitors; your prices and features; your opportunities for growth and expansion; and your goals. This is the time to plan your long-term journey.
  • Do you have annual Sales Forecasts and Budgets? What are your projected sales? What are your projected expenses? Are you planning to introduce a new product or service in the next 12 months and how will that affect your projections and budgets? This is the time to plan the short-term trip that will lead you to your long-term journey.
  • Do you have a Marketing Plan? Marketing serves a multitude of purposes. Two are: To inform and educate current and prospective clients on 1) the surety of your company and commitment to your company values and 2) the value of your products or services. A solid marketing plan will outline how you plan to inform and educate your current and potential customers.
  • Is your company mission and vision defined and have you communicated it to all of your employees? It’s important that everyone is on the same page with regards to what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Have you defined reasonable, achievable and measureable company goals? Again, everyone needs to be on the same page and making forward progress.
  • Have you defined your company brand? One cohesive look lends to customer confidence that you know what you’re doing and you’re a company that can be trusted. You appear professional.
  • Have you implemented your company brand all internal and external communications? Websites, social media, letterhead, invoices, envelopes, business cards, uniforms, trucks, signage all need the same branding elements.

In my upcoming blogs, I’ll go into detail about topics presented in this issue.