Goal Setting and Marketing Planning

Need a jump start to your goal setting? Want to be more effective with your marketing plans? Goal setting and marketing planning are part of an organization’s on-going processes. If it is time for a spring refresher, ask yourself these five questions to achieve goal success.

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High Five Yourself to Goal Success

  1. Why is it important to set goals?

In the words of Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Without clear goals in mind, it is difficult to know the plan you should take, what the intermediate plans are, or even if success has been obtained.

  1. Where are you now?

One of the key steps in developing a marketing plan is to determine where you are now:

  • Review the current economic and competitive environment of your industry. Consider completing a SWOT Analysis (identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
  • Establish your current marketing mix, including your products, service quality, pricing, distribution channels, promotional channels, and communication both online and off-line.
  • Know your market segments, your target market, and how your customers contribute to your bottom line. CRM Tools (Customer Relationship Management) can assist you with this as these systems provide client information and can help identify sales patterns, ROI from marketing efforts, and show relationship patterns between the organization and your customers.
  1. Where do you want to be? And Why?

Set clear goals by using brainstorming. Mind Mapping tools help you organize and map out your thoughts, paths, and plans.

  1. How will you get there?

Once you’ve got your goals in place, you’ll need to establish your action plan, and define strategies, and tactics, budgets, and deadlines.

  1. How will you know you’ve achieved your goals?

When you establish your goal, ensure that they’re SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Then, you’re able to determine if, when, and how you’ve achieved your goals.

For more information on developing your goals and marketing plan, take a look at SmallBizTrends for a few quick one-page marketing plan templates on their site.  Other good resources for marketing plan advice are: The Marketing Donut, Marketing Profs, and Entrepreneur.

At Zircon, we focus our goals on our DIY and professional contractor customers by providing superior stud finders, scanners, and detectors and an exceptional user experience. We love to engage with our users and invite you to share your tool experiences with us. Please visit us at zircon.comlike us, or follow us.

Please join us the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for #diytrends. Engage, learn and share. We would love to hear from you!

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Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

The Two-Way Marketing Street

From the early days of transactional marketing to today’s highly engaging relationship marketing, marketers have learned to adapt to the changing customer culture. Today’s marketers are entrenched in a two-way marketing street – one that is give and take, listen and respond, lead and reciprocate, and go forward and take a step back.

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Customers are directing traffic to and from your website, stopping to converse from the sidelines of third party sites or they are sitting in the driver’s seat, steering your discussion via the social media stratosphere.

How can companies benefit from the two-way street of marketing? Here are five superhighway ideas for your brand:

  • Rev It Up. Ignite your customer engine by understanding first what’s on your audience’s mind. What do they want? What are they thinking? Customer centricity is #1, replacing a sometimes contrasting sales mentality. Get the customer insights directly from the source. Conduct customer surveys, create polls, and engage in social listening via online services, such as NUVI, to understand what is most important to your audience. With survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, and SurveyTool, you no longer need to guess what your customer really wants.
  • Remove Roadblocks. How does your brand reduce customer pain points? Show how your product saves time, creates value, and eliminates guesswork. Offer hands-on YouTube tutorials, create an online knowledge center, and offer how-to tips via social media. By sharing time and money saving ideas to your fans and followers, you’ll reap the benefits via enhanced customer loyalty and a more engaged audience. At Zircon, the company’s Interactive Support Center offers 24/7 troubleshooting, customers can call tech support to talk to a live tool technician, and the company’s social media channels offer timely DIY shortcuts and useful project hints for tool enthusiasts.
  • Create Curb Appeal. To develop the road to customer engagement success and an enthusiastic, on-going dialog, communicate your brand’s uniqueness in a clear, succinct, yet creative manner. Amp up your shares, likes, and followers through knowledgeable and resourceful content that resonates with your audience. Out of ideas? Research industry influencers, conduct in-office brainstorming sessions, and develop partnerships with like minded companies to nurture, create, and catapult ideas. DIY industry leaders, such as @HGTV, @industryedgeNHS and @kbtribechat have insightful content that may springboard your own blog, video, and content ideas.
  • Test Drive. Take a test drive to gain a new business perspective and meet customers where they are. Although you can find your customers at the retail point of sale, smart devices are also making traditional offline moments into online opportunities. Cultivate your brand by providing a QR code to click to your brand’s website or develop an interactive mobile app. Be proactive in posting timely responses to both positive and negative online reviews. Join in the social media conversation by searching industry #topics, participating in Twitter chats, and replying to @brand mentions. Test different dates, times and social media tweets and posts to ensure you’re reaching the optimal audience members when they are most apt to engage.
  • Tune Up. Review your customer diagnostics and compare the results to your company goals. If expectations are not met, what changes are required? If it does not appear that you’re engaging enough with customers or your content is not providing you with new fans or followers, perhaps a new approach is needed. Are you on the right track? Test a new “vehicle” –a promotion vehicle, that is. For example, a social media ad campaign or a cross promotion with a marketing partner can provide you with a new audience.

Make your two-way marketing street the optimal road to a new and refreshing conversation with your customers. In addition to these five steps, you may have your own avenues to success and we would love to hear from you. Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Catch the next ones on 6/18 and 7/2. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

Creating Lasting Marketing Value

Marketing imageMarketers strive for ways to attract and retain loyal customers and one way is to create lasting marketing value.  Companies want passionate brand advocates — you know the type?  They are the dream customers who write engaging reviews, generate exciting word-of-mouth endorsements, and purchase the very latest company brands.  Because a brand impression can last for days, if not months or years, marketing must trod out of the starting gate, bold and efficient, armed with marketing muscle and data.

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I strive to make a strong tie with the customer from the inception.  How best can we expeditiously and effectively communicate with our product users?  Short term, why does the customer pick up the package?  What graphics, tone, and text conveys the brand message?  Long term, how do we cultivate this relationship through email, social media, advertising, promotions, and other tactical elements?  At Zircon, we want to create “stickiness”.  What is the glue that will hold us together with our customers?  We want to captivate their attention for not just mere seconds, but for hours while the tool is in the customer’s hands and have our admirers tells their friends about their positive Zircon experience.

Marketers are constantly testing the results of a campaign.  Leads are quantified from the latest industry tradeshow, media hits are counted, email open rates are examined, sales are tallied, return on investment is calculated and more.  These marketing statistics point to success or areas for improvement.  What sticks out to the customer, retailer, and consumer’s mind about the campaign and will the brand effect have legs to continue onward well past the campaign’s expiration date?  Through the years, the Zircon brand has taken different twists and turns, but all in response to customer needs.  For example, when asked for smaller, more nimble tools, Zircon responded with ergonomically designed stud finders that work well at any angle.

Creating lasting value begins with the customer.  From a strategic and from a tactical viewpoint, when the customer is front and center in the decision making processes, then, we’re heading in the right direction.  Beginning with the key marketing concepts, the customer is the star of the show.  Other companies may go astray and put only the product front and center; unfortunately, disconnected companies blindly float out of focus from the customer’s eye.  My goal is to lead the value discussion, put it on each marketing deliverable, and make it last for years to follow.

As a real life example of how Zircon is passionate about our customers, please take a look at our blog, “The Dog Ate My StudSensor“.

It’s invigorating to think of the customer – we anticipate his needs, we act upon them, we measure our results and we start over again.  With anticipation, each new campaign brings an opportunity to further solidify the customer bond.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Sharon image