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New Year, New You…New Marketing Strategy? Setting Business Up for Success in 2014

This article has been reprinted with permission from Doctor’s Life Magazine.  To learn more about Doctor’s Life Magazine, please click here.

A link to this entire issue can be found here.

Before you know it the holiday season will be behind us.  We will have enjoyed time with friends and family, decorated and undecorated for the season, and eaten to capacity.  What’s next?  New Year’s resolutions, battling for a free treadmill at the gym, trying crash diets, quitting smoking…and then, before you know it, life goes back to normal.  Those resolutions and goals are all but forgotten for most of us. In fact, according to a study by the University of Scranton: Journal of Clinical Psychology, only about 8% of Americans that set New Year’s Resolutions are successful in achieving them.

Now let’s slant this towards something near and dear to you: your business.  New Year’s resolutions are generally geared towards personal goals, but you are not the only one who can benefit from change, your business can as well.  What steps can you list RIGHT NOW that you are going to make in 2014 to ensure that you’re among that successful 8% of Americans?

If you want to invigorate your business, the best place to start is your marketing strategy.  A marketing strategy is a written formula for how you will achieve success.  As you know, with any plan, those that actually have a ‘written plan’ find greater success.

I started out my career as an R.N., and learned the nursing process – which consists of Assess, Diagnose, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate (ADPIE).  This formula works for a lot of different things – and I want to show you how it relates to several portions of your marketing strategy too!

To ensure that 2014 is a fruitful one for your business, take a look at the following ideas and see if you can add them to your existing marketing strategy or if they can help you lay the groundwork for a brand new marketing strategy!

Your Website
First of all, take a look at your website.  Assess what it looks like and it’s functionality.  Remember many times this is the first impression people get of you when searching online.  Diagnose what it’s problems are.  Does it reflect the professionalism and quality service you provide?  Are the graphics clean, clear, and fresh?  Is it a website that you personally would want to explore?  Does it give clear and direct information, methods of contact, and is it easy to navigate?  Is the design responsive (works on web, tablets and phones)? Remember one of the largest growing search tools are smartphones!  Is it friendly and interactive?  Do you have one of the most overlooked portions of a website – a robust blog?  Next Plan what you’re going to do.  Make a list of the issues you’ve discovered above and decide what you’re going to do to fix them.  Is it something you can do on your own?  Or should you find a company to help you with it?  Once you’ve made that decision – put it into action, Implement it!  If you’re doing it yourself, set a time frame to have it completed in.  If you’re outsourcing make sure the company you are outsourcing to gives you a concrete plan and work together with them to get it done.  Once your website is complete, Evaluate before signing off on the project.  Does is meet all the Assessments and Diagnoses from above?

Social Media
Now let’s take a look at your social media marketing.  Whether you’re proficient at navigating the online marketing waters at this time or not – have you logged on to each site, especially the big six – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest and claimed your business name?  This is important, as businesses are quickly jumping on the social media bandwagon and the name you want may be already taken.  Note: Some unscrupulous businesses are even claiming their competition’s name!

Generally the most successful healthcare related campaigns focus on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Assess the status of each of the platforms you engage with.  Again, as with your website, people may come in contact with your online profile before event meeting you.  Will they be impressed?  Are you getting lots of traffic to your website, phone, and office from your social media campaign?  If not – Diagnose the problem.  Is your number of followers low?  Are they engaging and commenting, sharing, ‘liking’ what you post?  If not, Plan how to manage the problem and Implement it.  Attend a seminar on how to improve your social media overall.  Hire a consultant to work with you directly.  Or outsource your social media campaign to a company that can populate your sites, engage with them using topics and questions that will entice them, not only to engage, but to keep them coming back to your site – sharing, commenting, and ‘liking’ what you write, catapulting you as an expert in your field.  Then sit back and Evaluate the number of added clients, invitations to events, speaking engagements, and collaborations that you receive!

Email Marketing
Another thing to Assess in your marketing strategy is your Email marketing campaign.  What’s the status of your database?  Does your newsletter carry your business branding through so that clients recognize your content?  Is your campaign consistent, scheduled, and do you monitor the results?  Is it tied in with your social media marketing?  Once you assess and diagnose the status of this portion of your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to plan and implement your plan of action and then evaluate the results!

Of course these items are just the tip of the iceberg, but consider them in addition to using ADPIE to create an extremely effective marketing strategy for 2014!  Remember – it is never too late to make positive marketing changes in your business.

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