2023 Small Business Marketing: 5 Ways to Get An Early Start
The last few months of the year can be chaotic for small businesses. Many companies are facing a seasonal sales push, an impending financial close, and staff with extra stress and commitment. On top of everything, it’s also time to put definitive small business marketing plans in place for the coming year.
Small Business Marketing: Planning for 2023
It’s never too early to start planning next year’s marketing efforts.
Here are five impactful ways to jump-start your 2023 small business marketing.
Host a Retro Review
There’s a cultural narrative about looking ahead and putting the past behind you as an entrepreneur. However, you’ll find it very valuable to learn from recent actions that failed to deliver as expected.
Before you start planning for 2023, take a look at 2021 and 2022. Small businesses in all industries have experienced turmoil and disruption over the past few years.
While things are starting to level out from the pandemic, an extended period of inflation and the recession loom.
Look at work from the past year. Use that analysis to determine what worked and what didn’t.
Dive into the perceived failures and shortcomings, aiming to identify what issues led to their demise. Find those golden nuggets that led to success in other projects.
It’s always a good exercise to try learning from the past. It can help you replicate successful strategies and avoid costly mistakes in the future. Carry these lessons forward into 2023 planning.
Consider Ongoing Efforts
The end of the year may feel like a definitive line, but it’s not. You’ll likely have ongoing campaigns and projects that extend beyond the boundaries of the calendar year.
For example, new product innovation can last for several years. In this case, year-end is nothing more than a budget refresh.
Account for ongoing efforts before planning new projects and developments. Ensure that these enduring endeavors are covered.
This is also a great time to determine whether these actions are still aligned with the business.
Revisit Your Research
Consumer needs and behaviors change over time, as does the market as a whole. Data and information you previously acquired may no longer be valid. Perhaps your goals or offerings changed.
For example, longstanding physician liaisons have experience in a slower-paced, more personable healthcare environment. Those who have recently graduated from physician liaison training are stepping into a busy, post-pandemic world with a prevalence of virtual medicine.
This tremendous change in a short period identifies the importance of up-to-date research and marketing efforts.
Consider conducting a SWOT analysis to identify how your small business will fit in the market in 2023:
- Strengths: what your business does that sets it apart and what you do well
- Weaknesses: what challenges your business faces and what needs improvement
- Opportunities: what gaps exist in the current market, or what new demographics or prospects to explore
- Threats: who is your main competition, what they do well, and other factors presenting complexity
The strengths and weaknesses portion of the SWOT is an internal evaluation of your business.
The opportunities and threats section is an external look at the market, competition, and economic factors (e.g. inflation).
Outline Overarching Business Goals
If you plan your marketing strategy before looking at overarching business goals, you’ll be putting the proverbial cart before the horse.
Marketing is an action. It’s how you accomplish your business goals. Your overarching goals are the destination you aim toward with marketing efforts.
And it’s also how you can look back later and measure whether or not your small business marketing campaigns were effective.
Use data from your retro review, SWOT analysis, and ongoing work to determine what you hope to accomplish in 2023.
These goals could include revenue growth, customer acquisition, new product releases, and PR wins.
The first step to creating effective marketing goals is for you to clarify your business goals as whole. Then line up your marketing strategies to support those goals.
Reverse-Engineer Your Goals into Tasks
Once you have clear business goals, you can reverse-engineer them into actionable marketing tasks.
These will be the quarterly, monthly, and daily marketing KPIs your business pursues to reach the overarching annual goals.
While it may seem a bit much, many marketers find great success with reverse-engineering down to the daily tasks and activities.
A year seems like a long time when you’re just entering January and have 12 months ahead. However, as you look back during November or December with a new year looming, a year seems like no time at all.
With so many responsibilities and goals, it’s the elasticity of time that creates procrastination.
By breaking large goals into smaller daily tasks, you can ensure that you are focused on progress every month of the year.
For example, let’s say your goal is to increase income by 25% next year. How will you do that?
Perhaps you determine you require 15 additional recurring clients to hit that number. How will you find and engage, let alone close them?
Perhaps you look at your sales funnel and decide that you can build more early-stage brand awareness with social media and SEO content. You can nourish existing prospects to transact with email marketing efforts.
The logical next step is to answer some important strategic and tactical questions:
- What tasks must be completed each month, week, and day to make your vision a reality?
- What resources and planning are required to support those efforts?
- What milestones and KPIs will tell you whether you’re on track throughout the year?
The more specific and actionable your goals are, the better your chances of succeeding with meeting and exceeding those goals.
These five steps will jumpstart your marketing planning for 2023. They’ll provide the framework to identify resource and budgeting needs.
Take time to reflect and drill down to the details to set yourself up for success in the coming year.
Feature Image Credit: Pexels, Free for Commercial Use License, with attribution required.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
This guest post brought to you courtesy of Return On Now, Professional Austin SEO and PPC Services Company.
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