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Is your marketing systematic?

Anyone who has read Michael Gerber’s emyth revisited understands the importance of systems within your business. Systems and processes that give you the ability to duplicate and replicate what you do, time after time after time in precisely the same way. Ray Croc, founder of McDonald’s, built a global empire based on this idea, and so too have many other businesses.

Many small business owners invest time in developing systems and processes to cover the logistics and operations of their business, as well as other areas such as customer service and finance. However they generally don’t view marketing as a system. In fact, marketing is generally ignored altogether until sales are falling and they need a ‘quick fix’ solution. They implement a random campaign, it doesn’t work, and they forget about marketing for another 6 months, and then repeat the same process.

The reality is business owners should have a marketing system in their business. But what is a marketing system? Essentially there are 2 types of marketing systems – the first is having a defined marketing process and a 12-month calendar of marketing ‘events’. The second are technology-based systems that help automate your marketing. Today I’m going to focus on the first system.

Once you’ve identified your marketing strategy (I covered the essentials of this in my last post “Is it time you fired your marketing team?”), you’re much better placed to develop a marketing plan with the appropriate tactical elements to target and educate your Ideal Customer. You can then develop a 12-18 month plan of marketing activity – you should be planning a consistent stream of marketing tactics throughout the year focused on building a prospect database and building trust with your prospects.

I find it helps to develop monthly marketing themes, for example, September = Website; October = Google Adwords; November = Tracking & Measurement (Google Analytics); December = Referral Marketing, etc. There will be some months where you will have maintenance or revisions to previous month’s activity; for example, you should refresh your offers and advertising creative at least every 3 months.

As you approach each monthly ‘theme’ you should identify specific tasks that need to be completed, and then break each ‘theme’ into weekly deliverables. You now have a marketing calendar that you can work to, and this is the basis of your marketing system – you have a number of identified tasks that need to be completed each week.

Be warned. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you have a clear marketing strategy though. If you haven’t identified your Ideal Customer, and your core difference, you’ll just end up being very busy implementing lots of stuff that’s not going to work.

Do you have a defined marketing process or system in your business? I’d like to hear how you plan your marketing calendar – do you have a 12-month plan; do you have set monthly ‘themes’ or do you have a different approach?

What do you think?

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Joel Norton

Joel Norton

Joel is Chief Strategy Officer of <a href="http://Boosthq.com.au">Boost Marketing</a>, a specialist small business marketing consultancy. He is an accomplished marketing professional with 22 years experience, and is passionate about delivering strategic, practical marketing solutions that help small business to be more profitable. Joel is also a sought after speaker on the elements of small business marketing. You can follow Joel on twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/boosthq">@BoostHQ</a>

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