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I don’t like to assume, but just for the heck of it, let’s say the Mayans made a, eh-hem, miscalculation and we will actually be around to ring in the 2013 New Year. First, congratulations to you all on surviving a close call for all mankind. Second, consumer spending is on a rise, and you need to gear up your marketing efforts – with a marketing toolkit –  to attract new business next year.

We encourage all our clients to develop a toolkit to have on hand. Having an easily accessible marketing toolkit with the following information will

  1. help you define your goals, ambitions and organizational values and promises
  2. make it easier for your employees to understand the brand values and promises you have developed.

See, right now is the PERFECT time to get crackin’ on your plan. Most businesses and agencies are prepping for the upcoming holiday breaks. With that in mind, let’s talk a bit about you.

The marketing toolkit is really just a template for you to gather information about your business, so that you may set benchmarks of where your business stands and set up goals to visualize where you want your business to be.

What did 2012 look like for you?

Let’s examine some of the fun things that contributed to this year’s business:

  • How were your sales (compared to the same period in 2011)?
  • Did you achieve your goals (you did set goals, right?)?
  • What was your social media strategy?
    • Did your website traffic increase?
    • What did your conversions look like?
    • Did you build an extension of your brand through SM channels?
    • What marketing efforts did you pursue?
      • How much did you spend on ads and what was the ROI?
      • What other forms of outreach did you use (website, paid search ads, social media, offline drivers, networking groups, etc.)
      • Did your marketing efforts contribute to a positive extension of your brand?

Now let’s look at the sometimes not so fun stuff:

  • What didn’t work for you? Be specific here.
  • Who was in charge of that effort(s)?
  • Why didn’t those efforts work? Explain. In painful, gritty detail.

Still with me? Good. Now, I hope you were as honest as possible, because that’s the only way you can realistically set attainable goals for next year.

Your 2013 Business Growth & Marketing Toolkit

That said, here’s a reference guide to help you create your marketing toolkit to start off 2013 right!

  • Website:

    • Do you have one? (Hint: you better).
    • Do you have analytics installed? (Hint: you better).
    • Do you regularly read and keep abreast of trends on your site?
    • Which pages get the most traffic?
    • Which pages get no traffic?
    • Do you have calls to action on your site?
  • Social Media:

    • Which social media channels do you use for marketing?
    • Who is in charge of posting content?
    • Do you calendar content in advance?
    • What types of posts (text, photo, video, etc.)
    • Did your page gain more followers/subscribers/users?
    • Did that result fit your goal(s) for that channel?
  • Supplementary:

    • Networking –
      • What meaningful connections did you make?
      • Did those translate into new business for you?
      • Did you connect others in good will?
    • Postcards & Flyers –
      • Do you have a special landing page on your site to track efficacy?
      • What was the ROI for your print collateral?
      • You know how to track your ROI, right?
    • Email –
      • Do you use email marketing?
      • Have you implemented analysis to determine who bounces/unsubscribes?
      • Have you implemented A/B testing to ensure efficacy of deliveries?
    • Feedback:
      • Have you asked customer feedback in the past 12 months?
      • Was it informal or did you sculpt a meaningful questionnaire?
      • Was your feedback generally positive or negative?
      • What were the three recurring obstacles your customers face?
      • Have you implemented changes to those protocols? (Hint: you better).

Hopefully you answered these questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible. Only then can you begin to plan for a successful new year. The first part, your 2012 Marketing Review should help you understand where your business is. You can use that information to check and compare with where you want your business to be in the next 12 months.

After you’ve come up with some concrete, actionable goals for 2013, you can use the information from the Marketing Toolkit to help you identify the foundation of your marketing plan/strategy.

Do you have any other suggestions/information you like to keep in your marketing toolkit? Let me know in the comments box!