The first of the year is a great time to reconnect with all of your best clients. Right after the holidays is the perfect time to set yourself apart from the competition by providing your customers with a value-added extra: The Marketing Review.
What the heck is a marketing review? How do you complete one? It can be very worthwhile--but only if you do the homework. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
1. Starting January 1, document all of the projects and promotions that you have done for a particular client. Provide all of the information that you can: What products they requested. What they ordered. How the project was distributed. What results were achieved (if you know them).
2. Write down other projects or promotions that the client may have done and not included promotional products or not included you.
3. Make a note of times where the client could have saved money or had a more effective program had he or she planned ahead or gotten you involved sooner.
4. Make a note of any significant competitive initiatives by your customer's competition and of any market or economic trends that may have impacted the company's business.
5. Make observations about what other advertising media your customer used last year. This can give you an idea of where you can find some extra budget money. Determine if any co-op advertising dollars were used from any top suppliers. This also can be a source of budget money for you.
6. Get out your 2014 calendar and check out Chase’s Calendar of Events or even Google upcoming events and significant days. Make a list of days, weeks or events that your customer might be able to create solid promotions around.
Now, you’re ready to get to work. Create a professional looking document. Here are some potential headings for the sections.
I. 2013 Promotional Overview In this section, recap the information from answering No. 1 and No. 2 above. Provide an objective view of what the client’s marketing efforts looked like to you.
II. 2013 Competitive Landscape Here, provide observations of what you saw happening in the client's industry. Mention the successes and failures of their competitors. Provide some research on what the industry was doing. This is a recap of homework done in No. 3 above.
III. 2014 Recommendations In this section, outline the upcoming year and the projects that you wish to see repeated (and/or improved) and suggest ways that you can enhance some of the efforts you didn’t get a chance to work on last year. Suggest ways that promotional products can be used to make their other advertising media more effective or more measureable. Recommend ways to help your client advertise, recognize, motivate, promote, incentivize and train. Suggest how you can help the company grow its people, its presence and its profits.
IV. Executive Summary Here, touch on the main points of your report. This is a place where you can point out the thoughts you developed in No. 3 of your homework. Point out how you can save money and how you can create more effective programs by getting involved in the marketing process earlier.
Do this for your best customers, and they will perceive you as a partner and a marketing professional committed to helping them solve their problems. And as I love to say, "Problem Solvers Always Make Money!"