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Take time every month to review—and act on—your marketing plan.

When understaffed marketing teams are overburdened and working at the pace of a an Olympic speed skater, many good marketing habits fall prey to putting out daily fires. While those fires may be important, so is following your marketing plan. It’s time to ignore the fires. Close the door, hang up a sign, put your phone on silent. Do what it takes to carve out at least one hour to devote to your marketing essentials.

When marketing practices continually get pushed aside, long-term strategies are left withering in the dark corners of your filing cabinet. Casting off these strategies can lead to poor business practices, among them:
–Lack of tracking and measuring marketing efforts
–Missing out on learning more about your clients
–Working in a vacuum

So, how do you break those bad practices and work your way to glorious career-advancing marketing habits? Start with these small steps:

1. Tracking

  • Keep simple dashboards for your company’s online marketing presence, tracking these numbers on a monthly basis.
  • Learn about your website traffic. Pay attention to the numbers that help guide your specific marketing efforts which may include: unique visitors, video plays, downloads, new subscribers, requests for information, mobile users, landing page visits.
  • Stay on top of your social media. Know your company’s connections, comments, and shares.

2. Discovering

  • Map out the bumps along the way. Look at when a client first connects with your company up to the point when they decide whether to buy or use your services. Sketch out a client’s path as they research your company both through human contact and online. What does the client discover at each touch point? Uncover any glitches that might help or hinder their decision to partner with you.
  • Consider conducting an independent survey of current and past clients.
  • Look at the basic qualitative research you’ve done. Use the results to help with decision-making and planning. Or determine if you need to do further research.

3. Connecting

  • Taking on all the weight of the marketing strategy, decisions, and implementation? Step outside the office and attend a marketing business group or meet-up group. Energize! The room will be filled with other marketers that share the highs and lows of working through silos. Lean on your peers for support and learn about ways of making your marketing efforts more effective.
  • Investigate the many online marketing blogs and join in the discussion.
  • Work with a trusted outside partner to help alleviate your staggering marketing communications workload and benefit with peace of mind. We help our clients do just that.

What will you gain by killing off those weak marketing habits?
Tracking will reveal trends.
Discovering will uncover what clients really need from you to make them happy.
Connecting will increase your professional network, friendships and focus.

All these things combined can get your marketing efforts on target, help you attract and retain more clients, and put the focus back into your career. Take time to build on these simple but rewarding marketing habits on a regular basis. Dusting off your marketing plan each month will ensure that you won’t spend your entire year firefighting.

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