You’ve hired a marketing consultant. It’s a big investment to get your organization’s name out there. At your first meeting, the consultant asks a lot of questions for your marketing plan. What differentiates you from your competition? How much new and repeat business do you have? What is your most popular service or product? For non-profits, What results does the community see from your programs?
Can you answer these questions? If the necessary information isn’t there, where do the answers come from? You could gather your team and come up with some good guesses and examples. But should your marketing plan be based on anecdotes? Sure, the individual stories are valuable; but you need more information than that to get the most from your marketing investment.
Figure out what works for your organization by making a plan that addresses these four areas:
1. Identify the Information You Need
Identify the attributes of your product or services that show results. Examples include sales and margins by product, closure rates, clients served, and classes taught. Select the attributes to track based on their significance to the bottom line.
2. Set-up Tracking and Reporting Processes
Data tracking and reporting processes helps make sure that information is reliable and easy to obtain. You can’t collect every piece of information, so pick the most impactful items.
3. Automate Where Possible
Automation increases accuracy and decreases the time needed to gather and sort through information. It’s an investment worth exploring, and a great opportunity to assess your business processes.
4. Sharing Your Story
Having platforms to promote your message is huge — a web site, a newsletter, or any other communication mode. Getting that information together is work. Make sure you can use it to attract people to your organization.
Investing in a marketing consultant is a big step. Be ready with the information needed to make the most of your investment. Telling your organization’s story really does take information.