Small Biz Marketing in 2013

It's approaching that time of year where we make outlandish resolutions and promise to improve our personal behavior.

If you happen to be a small business owner, it should also be the time to take inventory of your marketing strategies.

As the New Year draws closer, I’d encourage to consider the following points as you seek to position your business for more success in 2013:

Compare gross receipts from 2012 with the marketing budget for the same timeIt is my belief that your marketing budget should not be burdensome.  On the contrary, I recommend the implementation of an ad budget that works in concert with your sales.  Specifically, I recommend a 1:20 ratio – for every dollar you spend on advertising, you should realize at least $20 in gross sales. The math, of course, works in reverse.  If you’ve earned $100 bucks, commit $5 to your ad budget in order to keep things moving along.

Talk to your media rep about New Year’s specials Now that the elections are over, many media outlets (such as radio and TV) are feeling the absence of their cash cow – political ads.  As such, many media reps have been tasked with wooing back local advertisers with attractive marketing deals.  Keep an eye out for them; you may uncover savings that you’ve not seen before.

Get used to saying less Twitter only allows 140 characters. TV commercials are moving from 30 to 15-seconds. Radio ad space has moved from 60-seconds down to 30. The point is that as time goes on, your audience members are being to conditioned to exercise less patience with regard to longwinded ads. Hence, it is incumbent upon you to create, witty, convincing and most important, concise ad ideas in the New Year.

Update time-sensitive materialsAs January approaches, take to time to scan over your marketing materials.  Be sure that you get rid of items that have the previous year’s info.  It can be something as simple as updating your “copyright” language on your webpage to 2013 to something more involved, such as updating literature that has specific references to the prior year

Review the past year to see what workedDespite being a marketing organization, we still have to advertise (go figure). I have found that year’s end is a great time to review the sum of our advertising efforts. For example, the majority of our marketing dollars are spent online; hence, we run a 12-month report in order to indentify patterns and areas that may have gone unnoticed.

Explore mobile marketing It was reported that mobile (smartphone and tablet) internet use will surpass traditional desktop use by 2014. Use this coming year to explore mobile-friendly ways of advertising your business.

Further your reach in the social media worldWell, it appears that social media isn’t going anywhere.  If you have not made the leap into it, 2013 is the year where it needs to happen.  If you happen to already have a social media presence, commit to furthering your reach and expertise in this ever-growing outlet.

Walter Dailey is a proven creative strategist. He’s the lead consultant and executive producer for Dailey Sound Vector, a creative services organization that specializes in jingles, radio ads and music licensing development for small and mid-sized businesses.  Walter is finally on Twitter. Follow him here: @wrdailey