Like many, you might be tempted to start spring cleaning this weekend. Taking a fresh look at overstuffed closets and jam-packed drawers is a great way to prep for summer, but also to survey what you actually need. I can’t list the number of times I thought that I had lost a favorite shirt or sweater, ready to purchase a replacement, only to have it turn up on my annual spring cleaning session.
I think the same methodical approach that many take with their spring cleaning can also be applied to your marketing strategy. How many of us have put together our annual marketing plan and then found that we’ve had to pivot in late Q1 or early Q2 as the year unfolds? It’s a natural step in the process, but instead of being seen a tiresome redirect, it can also be seen as an opportunity to refresh and re-engage.
Here’s my four-step plan on how to freshen up your marketing strategy this spring:
1. Review and Streamline Your Marketing Plan
Similar to how you review the areas you want to clean in your house, take a high-level view and evaluate the critical areas that need attention. Start by prioritizing your company’s marketing strategy against company goals. Where is your energy being spent? SEO? press releases? Instagram ads? Where are you seeing success? Only by looking at the various strategies holistically will you be able to identify what needs more or less attention.
2. Survey Your Clients
Retention is a metric we care deeply about. If our current clients are not seeing the value of our services than any attention on acquisition is fruitless. We must lean into what is and isn’t working by talking to both clients and customers. Are they feeling like something is missing? Are their challenges being met? Is something resonating that could use extra support? Taking the time to identify strengths and weaknesses—whether it’s a survey conducted through an email marketing campaign or a third-party research company—will pay off in the long run.
3. Identify Your Core Focus Areas
Perhaps the most important tactic is to start paring down the strategies that aren’t working for you. Did a marketing trend that felt mandatory end up not bringing the ROI you had originally hoped for? We’ve seen big events and influencer marketing blow up in the last couple of years, but chances are they don’t reflect your goals and budgets of today. Additionally, while some plans take a while to generate performance, sometimes it’s best to double down on what’s working. Yes, social advertising is a must. No, that doesn’t mean you should be blasting your message across all platforms. In other words, don’t be afraid to toss out that new outfit if it doesn’t fit right.
Once you have identified the 2-3 strategies you want to focus on, execute. One thing I’m prepared to do this year is double down on our SEO and sponsored content, and scale back our focus on sponsored events. By removing the excess clutter and noise, you will be able to more effectively get your message across, speak to the right audiences and tell your brand’s story.
While it can seem overwhelming, or like starting from scratch, doing a spring cleaning check-in is a great way for marketers to set themselves up for success for the rest of the year.