Making the Most of End of Year Marketing Assessments

The end of the year is a time for all sorts of assessments, especially if you are a small business owner. Did you meet your business goals for the previous year? Are there things you really shined at versus things you wish you could have done differently? What surprises did you learn the most from?


Perhaps the most important question you can ask yourself as a small business owner is: where do you see your business taking itself over the coming year? Of course, answering this question takes a plan and a thorough evaluation of the positives and negatives of the previous year. But doing so can put you and your growing company on the right track for a year that will blow the rest out of the water.


One of the most critical components of your successful plan for the upcoming year involves your marketing strategy. Marketing is a deeply impactful tool that can attract the types of customers you’re trying to tap into, bolster brand loyalty to keep the regulars returning, and get your name out there to invite even more customers to come and visit. As you begin planning your marketing strategy for 2020, here are a few things to consider.


Upcoming Trends

Gone are the days when marketing was just as simple as calling up the radio station and buying air time to play your clever new jingle. More than that, the idea of a solely physical presence is ancient, and a weak digital one is already the bare minimum. Nowadays, it is imperative to incorporate the latest digital strategies into your marketing scheme in order to target specific customers and be certain you are reaching the right demographics for your product.


For many business owners that didn’t necessarily grow up in the digital age, this can be a challenging concept to wrap your head around. But today’s consumers are going digital and not looking back, forcing companies that want to be successful to follow them into the depths of the online world and work hard for their attention and purchasing power. Focusing your marketing strategy on big trends and being ready to make changes to incorporate the new big thing in the blink of an eye is important.


Modern online shoppers are looking for an authentic, interactive experience. They want to understand the goals and motives behind the products that your company makes and are more willing than ever to hear your background story. When purchasing products, they want an interactive online experience, reminiscent of one they may have gotten in a physical store a decade ago, where questions are quickly answered (via chatbots or artificial intelligence instead of a store clerk) and they are confident in their purchases (because of reviews or online AR-based fitting rooms).



They say that diversity is the spice of life, and when it comes to marketing strategy, they certainly aren’t wrong. In 2020, you should be looking into a plethora of different ways that you can reach out to customers and capture their hearts and minds. After all, we live in a global marketplace now, meaning your small business doesn’t have to limit itself to immediate physical surroundings.


Consider, for instance, finding ways to link up your PR and marketing campaigns on occasion. Although public relations and marketing work to reach different and equally important company goals, they can come together in some ways to greatly boost the company as a whole. For example, your PR message could be that your company is eco-friendly and working towards sustainability, while your simultaneous marketing campaign could encourage potential customers to view the tech specs on your most eco-friendly products.


Although digital is the primary means of marketing these days, it certainly doesn’t mean that your physical strategy can be cast aside and forgotten. In fact, most successful marketing strategies find ways to merge physical and online marketing into one cohesive package working towards similar goals. Having both can deliver a streamlined message that increases brand recognition and your loyal customer base. 


Cost Savings

Of course, as a small business owner, you are well aware that nothing comes for free and almost nothing comes for cheap. Fortunately, there are ways to work through the numerous marketing costs and find a plan and a price that works well for you. Build your marketing plan by doing research on multiple alternatives, understanding what your competitors are doing, and getting a good grasp on long and short term prices.


Prior to making a final decision, do another run through the numbers and make sure you aren’t missing anything obvious. Additionally, consider speaking with members of your marketing team and getting their opinions on directions that are going to be beneficial for your products. After all, they are the ones that are going to have to live with the decision you make.


Outside of marketing budgets, work towards reducing other operating costs that can eat your lunch if left unchecked. Try to keep your expenses as predictable as possible, and limit the number of surprises the best you can. Spend the money that you need on the important things, but try to avoid those frivolous expenses that can add up and don’t really buy you all that much.


Hopefully, 2019 has been a great year for your small business and you are looking forward to an even better year in 2020! As you put together your marketing plan for the new year, take the time to consider things such as new and upcoming trends, diversity, and cost savings that could take your marketing to the next level. Good luck out there!