You can't wait until the new year to have a good year!
Can you believe it? Only a few more weeks until Christmas. And that's important not just because you should probably begin to think about presents for your loved ones, but also because it matters to your marketing. In fact, believe it or not, you must set marketing goals now for more sales in 2016. Think that's too early? Consider these three reasons it isn't.
1) Building a Strategy
Marketing can only succeed if you take a strategic approach. To make sure you can get your sales efforts in 2016 running flawlessly, your marketing and sales strategy should be in place at that point. But establishing that strategy takes time, which is why you need to start now.
Consider, for a moment, just what goes into an effective marketing strategy. First, you need to understand exactly who your target audience is. Second, you need to set measurable objectives that support the overall goal of your marketing and sales effort. Third, you need to be an expert in every channel you plan on using to reach those objectives, before you get started. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need input from management on the strategy, making potential adjustments in the process.
If you wait until January to begin these steps, your sales won't be impacted until a few months into 2016. By starting now, you can make sure that your efforts can begin the moment the ball drops in Time Square.
2) Understanding Trends
As we're writing this post, the internet is brimming with digital marketing trends for the upcoming year you should not ignore. Forbes, HubSpot, and countless others have been publishing blog posts about upcoming trends in social media, SEO, mobile marketing, and much more.
But here's the deal: by the time January rolls around, those articles will no longer be current. Making sure that your marketing and sales strategy is up-to-date and follows consumer trends means getting informed about these trends starts now, so that you can incorporate it into your strategy and begin the new year with a thorough understanding of your consumers and their digital habits.
3) Lead Conversion Time
Finally, we've come to perhaps the most important reason to set marketing goals now for more sales in 2016: lead conversion time. Even if you put out a marketing message on Facebook right now, how long do you think it will take until a member of your audience becomes a current customer.
The answer varies, of course, but research shows that the average lead lifespan (the time it takes to turn an interested consumer into a customer) is about 60 days. That means if you want your sales to be impacted with the beginning of the new year, you better start generating leads now. They will take their time in moving through the sales funnel, slowly being nurtured toward becoming interested enough in your products to buy them. By the time they do, even if they enter your database as leads in this very moment, it will likely be 2016.
Marketing is not and should not be a short-term initiative. Taking a strategic approach to all of your efforts is crucial. But that strategy, especially if it incorporates current trends, will take its time to develop. And once you have it in place, you still need to account for new leads to take their time before becoming customers, which means you should plan in plenty of time to see the return on your investment.
If you're looking to increase your sales in 2016, you better start marketing now. And if you need any help in setting up of executing your strategy, contact us today!