Recognizing the need for a marketing strategy is the first step in your marketing journey. Understanding that your marketing and business strategies should mirror each other is the next step. But what comes next? This is something we get asked a lot. Essentially people want to know where to start. For us a great place to start is by taking inventory.
The Marketing Gap
Taking inventory means documenting your current marketing activities and evaluating where you are at now versus where you want to be in the future. We refer to the difference between the now and the future as your “marketing gap”. Your marketing gap will clearly outline what needs to be do to get you to where you should be in your marketing efforts.
The great thing about taking inventory is that it can be done anytime in your marketing journey:
- Before you outline your strategy: as stated above taking inventory can help you decide where to start.
- After you outline your strategy: taking inventory can help you evaluate your strategy to make sure you didn’t leave anything out.
- Periodic review: after you have implemented your marketing strategy and are in the review and management phase, we recommend taking inventory semi-annually. Over time your business evolves and grows. This means new gaps may arise. Taking periodic inventory allows you to spot those gaps and close them while you manage your marketing strategy. Added bonus: you will ensure branding across all marketing channels is consistent.
Closing The Gap
Hopefully by now taking inventory sounds good, but you might be asking yourself what is the best way to take your marketing inventory. Here is what we recommend asking yourself:
- What marketing channels do we use for marketing?
- How often are we publishing content?
- What types of content are we publishing?
- Are we reaching our target audience through the correct channels?
- Is our brand consistent throughout all platforms?
After you evaluate all your marketing platforms a list of tasks will emerge. Take some time to prioritize the tasks and all of a sudden you have a path forward. As you move forward you will be able to either define or update your marketing strategy as you see fit. Again taking inventory can be done at any time. If you need assistance Beacon Marketing can help take your marketing inventory and begin developing a plan to move forward!