2019 has been a fantastic year for business.
The rate of innovation and creative development seen across almost every industry has been inspiring. A wealth of incredible technology and new products have been designed, covering everything from marketing and design, accessibility and quality of life improvement. If you’ve been keeping up with social media, you will have seen the discussion of innovation all over your newsfeeds and screens. It’s been somewhat of a hot topic, and this is showing no sign of slowing down as we come into the new year. We’ve certainly seen some incredible changes this year. Our customers have developed and expanded their businesses to new heights, and we’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful businesses this year- both new customers and current customers. Our in-house team has learned so much, and we’re excited to see where 2020 takes us all.
Speaking of change, whether you were hunting for the latest in AI software or a product to heighten your company turnover, there will have been something new to invest in this year. Regardless of your industry, you’re sure to have seen some incredible changes and developments within your working life in 2019. Improving company turnover is about to be a massive topic as we head into the New Year. As soon as the first day back at work hits, companies all across the globe will be looking for ways to improve and upgrade their results. It’s arguably the best time of year to try out new techniques, innovative software and fresh methods with your team.
Customers will always be looking for something new at the start of the year, and it’s important to give them a reason to keep coming back for more. Gaining new customers is very important, of course, but earning repeat business can be equally beneficial as a returning customer has a much higher lifetime value and can be easier to work with. Furthermore, it is always great to bring something new to keep your employees engaged and feeling motivated as the colder months hit. Making your team do the same thing over and over without showing any willingness to adapt to new trends and technologies is a surefire way to lose members of your staff.
It can also make the working day much more interesting for you as well- after all, who likes doing the same thing day in and day out? If you’re getting frustrated at work, it is undoubtedly time to try out something new in order to see better results in the first quarter of the year. Being able to work with new and innovative technologies to increase turnover is also the hallmark of a modern business. Sticking to the same technology and techniques throughout the year will ensure that you do not progress with your business- and this will be one of the main themes that we are discussing today.
The team at Arantxaonline wanted to put this paper together, to celebrate the latest and greatest in business innovation, and to take an in-depth dive into the world of business turnover, marketing and strategy to help you and your team make an impact. This paper is going to be taking a look at everything from data to marketing- but we’ll go over the entire table of contents in just a moment. Firstly, we wanted to take a minute to introduce ourselves and provide some context as to why we’re putting together this white paper for you all to read in the first place, and note how our services tie in to the key themes.
Who is Arantxaonline?
For those of you who know us already, Arantxaonline is dedicated to innovation and scouting for the newest ways to help our clients progress with their own businesses. We’re passionate about providing a fantastic service for our clients, and we think that 2020 is going to be an even more bountiful year for business. If you haven’t worked with us before, Arantxaonline is an online service that provides a whole host of business services, content and products. One of our main services is our online shop. We’re pleased to be able to offer a plethora of handy products online. Our most popular products that are currently for sale include printer ink cartridges, top branded printers and gift cards to a wide variety of popular stores- notably Steam, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify. Additionally, we offer an online shopping service through our website. We understand the importance of being able to shop for high quality products with confidence, and we’re proud that so many of our customers enjoy this service through our site.
Something else that our business offers is physical services, like photocopying, printing and PC repairs. If you’re in the local area, you can always visit our team to try out these handy services for yourself. Our in-house team has a wealth of experience, and we are always on hand to help out with any of these listed services that you might need. One of our most popular services this year was our web design service. Innovative website design templates and creative graphics are some of our favorite things to create for our clients, and we’ve been lucky enough to work with some fantastic customers this year.
We also offer modern digital marketing services for our clients. Without a proper digital marketing strategy in place, businesses in the modern age will struggle to make a proper impact on their audience. Our in-house team covers every aspect of digital marketing, from search engine optimization and website development, to social media and email work. As you can see, we’re proud to offer a wide range of services for our audience. We believe that this holistic perspective on business and innovation puts us in a fantastic position to advise on turnover and profits as we come into the new year.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the key business topics this white paper is going to be covering, and what you can expect to learn about in the coming pages.
What will this paper cover?
As the title suggests, we’re concerned with helping improve company turnover. Whilst it can seem tricky to actively improve turnover, it is possible to do so with some strategic thinking and planning. There are some key strategies and techniques that we’ll be taking a look at today, in order to help kickstart your company for the new year.
Firstly, we’ll be going over the jargon associated with turnover and improving results. As far as we’re concerned, there are no stupid questions in business- however, it can be easy to feel like this online, especially as a new business or small business owner. The business industry can be quite secretive sometimes, so it can be hard to find the answers to ‘basic’ questions about things like turnover in the public sphere. Whilst communities like LinkedIn groups can be helpful, some of them can be somewhat elitist when it comes to answering questions and giving advice.
We’ll also be taking a look at vital terms like the marketing mix and the six sigma process. These are techniques that we are predicting to be huge in 2020, so it’s important that you get a head start on your competition and read up on them now.
Additionally, we will be covering key aspects of business like targeted marketing and audience segmentation. They may not be the most fascinating parts of business, but they are incredibly important. We’ll be looking at key terms, best practices and the reasons why working on these aspects are so vital for improving turnover.
Analysis and data work is another important aspect of business to consider as we move into the new year, and it’s something that can often be overlooked, especially by newer businesses. We’ll be looking at analytical work regarding social media, marketing, sales and a whole lot more. In general, this paper is going to be incredibly focused on marketing. As a business that works extensively with digital marketing and social media, we’re hugely passionate about marketing and the impact that it can have on a company. Other elements of business are mentioned of course, like sales and operational efficiency, but a general theme throughout will undoubtedly be marketing and content.
To help provide you with some ideas for renewing your marketing work in the new year, we shall also be looking at the best ways to stay inspired when working in marketing and sharing some of our favorite models, methods, papers and books for you to enjoy.
We will also be taking a look at elements of working in a business like client experience and the customer journey. These are hugely important aspects that should be taken into account by businesses on the daily. Unfortunately, they are often neglected in favor of easier, cheaper options and processes. This is especially true for big businesses, in a lot of cases. Once a business reaches a global scale, it can be very difficult to personify an audience and understand how a customer might interact with the company on an individual level.
Following on from that, we will be taking a look at business efficiency. Efficiency and productivity within a company can have a huge impact on repeat clientele and the results at the end of the quarter. Improving efficiency can also have a knock-on effect on the quality of work that you and your team are producing, too. We will be taking a look at our top tips for improving workplace efficiency, and noting the key types of efficiency that it is important to be aware of when working in a business.
We put a lot of emphasis on the importance of focusing on your employees in the workplace, and this is a common theme when it comes to discussing workplace efficiency. Many people neglect mental health care and the importance of good communication at work, but we believe that these things should be spoken about frankly and honestly for success.
SEO is a topic that you simply can not afford to miss out on nowadays, so as we reach the end of the marketing section we will be taking a look at SEO and advertising in more depth. Search engine optimization can feel like a minefield at times, what with all the jargon and complicated algorithms- however, we do not feel like it has to be this way.
Finishing up the paper, we’ll be suggesting a full scale plan on how you can renew your own strategies and implement new techniques to help improve your results and turnover in 2020. We’ll be going over social media and other digital marketing aspects like email marketing, and tips on how to improve your analysis moving forwards as well.
Overall, the general aim of this white paper is to lend a helping hand and provide a useful stepping stone for businesses as they jump into the new year. We know that marketing and improving a business in general can feel pretty overwhelming- after all, we’ve all been a new business once. The answer to this issue is to simply have a good plan in place, and be willing to try out new things when the opportunity arises.
Adaptability is one of the best traits that a modern business can acquire during their lifetime. When a new topic or trend arises, it can be quite scary or threatening as a business. It is important to be able to face change head on, and to be able to take it in your stride as your company progresses.
What exactly is company turnover?
To get things started, we wanted to go over some key terms and phrases to make sure that everybody is on the same page.
First things first, what exactly does the term ‘company turnover’ mean? Put simply, this term means the total amount of sales generated by a business in a specific time frame, as this helpful Simply Business article points out. It can also be referred to as gross revenue or income, interchangeably. Company turnover is one of the most important statistics and facts to keep track of throughout the year. It helps keep an eye on the business from a holistic point of view, it can highlight positive areas of the business and it can draw attention to other areas which may require some additional attention through analytical work. We’ll be taking a look at this in more depth in just a moment.
What’s the difference between company turnover and company profits?
There’s a lot of jargon in the business world, so it’s easy to get buzzwords and technical terms confused. Profit and turnover are often used interchangeably, but they most certainly do not mean the same thing. Profit is the measure of earnings after any expenses or costs have been deducted. It’s easy to get the two terms confused, especially if you’re new to the business world. However, for the sake of your own statistics and data records, it’s important to know the difference. It doesn’t help that there’s other terms that sound incredibly similar, either.
Gross profit, for example, is the same as the sales margin, which is important to know when you’re working with your sales statistics. There are types of turnover that have nothing to do with profit too, like employee turnover. Generally speaking, there’s lots of business jargon.
The importance of being aware of your company turnover and profits
So, why is it important to keep an eye on your company turnover and profits as we head into the new year? It may sound obvious to some, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who don’t track their earnings and costs efficiently whilst they work.
One of the main reasons why it’s important to be aware of your turnover and to track it is that it provides an insight into what you and your team need to do to get your desired profits each quarter. This data can help you to make much more informed decisions when working, and provide guidance as to where your purchases and cutbacks should go. Another reason why working out your turnover is important is that it can help draw attention to unnecessarily expensive suppliers, products or services. Looking at your profits as a whole can make it tricky to spot suppliers who might be over-charging, for example, but working out your turnover can help to break down these factors and make them easier to understand.
Generally speaking, you’re going to need to have a good understanding of your annual turnover when going into the new year, to help make your company prepared for what the first quarter might bring. Walking into a new quarter completely blind without any of your statistics or data to hand is a guaranteed way to get yourself into trouble. Take a look back at your data from previous years, and see whether there are any helpful trends to pay attention to. Are there any months that were particularly difficult? Do your profits suffer in the second quarter? Being able to reflect on your previous work results and use the data to make better decisions in the future is the sign of an accomplished businessperson. Something else to note is that it is important to have these pieces of data recorded for tax purposes. Taxation and legislation on earnings will, naturally, vary depending on the country that you and your business are based in. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to keeping records, so make sure that they are accurate and up to date.
The factors that might be affecting your annual profits
There are countless things that might be affecting your profits at the end of the year, and as we noted, it can be hard to just pick out one. However, if you’re looking to increase your turnover in order to boost your profits, there are certain things that you can look at in order to kickstart this process. One of the main things to analyse within your business is your costs. What are you spending money on? This may sound like an easy question at first, but it is not as simple as you might think. Being able to spot extra charges, costs or fees that have been going on unnoticed can be quite a tricky task, and requires a lot of careful work.
This is why performing audits is important – in fact, audits are something that we will look at later on when we discuss how to prepare your business for the new year. There are a few options available to you when it comes to deciding to perform an audit within your company. One option in regards to audits is to perform an internal audit. If you have the ability and manpower to take a good amount of time out of your working week to perform the audit yourself, you could save yourself a lot of time and hassle. As this Forbes article notes, working with a professional auditing service can be very expensive. The other option is to hire an external financial expert to come in and perform an audit on your company. This can result in a higher quality, more detailed audit- due to their experience and their time being dedicated entirely to the task. However, as we noted, financial audits can be very expensive procedures to go through.
Doing an audit can be disruptive to the working day, regardless of whether you choose to do it yourself, delegate the work to an employee or hire an external professional. The benefits, however, are immeasurable. Keeping your data records up to date and your company well audited is a great way to perform a ‘check up’ on the health of the business. Another thing to note when it comes to costs is supplier costs. Are you paying the right amount for your current supplies and contracts? Or are you being taken advantage of, or ignoring a better option on the market? This could be having a huge effect on your annual turnover, and as a result, your profits too.
It’s important to always be on the look-out for something new. Sure, if you have someone that you’re comfortable working with, then there’s no harm in building a long-term relationship. But being willing to change and work with new people will help your business grow and evolve.
Change can be scary, but it’s not always a bad thing.
When you’re looking at your profits, taking a look at your payroll and employees is also important. This is, undoubtedly, a difficult part of business. No business owner or manager wants to consider the fact that they might need to make some cutbacks or adjustments to their current teams, especially around the festive season. However, it is important to do this regardless of the negativity associated with it. Make sure that you do what is best for business, but also make sure that you handle everything tactfully, in the correct legal manner and respectfully too. Cutting pay or firing an employee can be a very upsetting ordeal for the whole company.
On a more positive note, you can also use your turnover and profit analysis to spot whether employees are performing exceptionally well, and as a result, choose to reward them accordingly. This is much more enjoyable, and is also a great morale boost for your team. If somebody is going to get a promotion or a raise, make sure you praise them in person. In general, almost every aspect of your business will have an effect on your annual turnover and profits. Being able to look at your work and performance with an unbiased, analytical eye is a surefire way to make sure that you work more efficiently in the future.
What is the marketing mix?
Moving on to business techniques and practices, let’s take a dive into the marketing mix. This is a very popular topic at the moment, and if you’re involved with the business community on social media, you are bound to have heard it brought up in conversation over the last twelve months. It’s relevant across many different industries, sectors and business styles. But what exactly is it? To put it simply, the marketing mix is a popular marketing strategy model, as noted by this Smart Insights article. It’s one of the most popular strategy models around right now, and can be used to wonderful effects alongside modern, innovative marketing techniques. Originally, the model was based around the key ‘4 Ps’ focuses which are product, price, place and promotion. However, the entire model is actually based around 7 core principles, not 4. These are;
- Physical evidence
This strategic model rose to prominence in the book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach by E.Jerome McCarthy in 1960. It is now used all around the world by a plethora of different businesses who opt to work with a detailed, strategic approach to marketing. The addition of the later 3 points has raised some discussion, but it’s important to note the state of the changing market and how this will have affected the model. When the model was originally created, business was much more focused around selling a physical product. Additionally, the idea of customer service and experience was much more unknown.
Nowadays, there is a mix of companies that sell services, freelancers and entrepreneurs, companies that sell physical products and companies that sell digital products. The additional 3 focus points were added to the model to compensate for the changing market, and to make sure that the points were as helpful for everyone as possible.
This is truly the sign of an innovative model. If a marketing model is only relevant for a few years, it’s normally considered more of a trend or passing interest for a lot of businesses. If you’re even remotely involved in marketing, you’ll know that this is an industry that is constantly changing and evolving at a dizzying speed.
However, if a marketing model can be improved upon year by year and made relevant for startups and innovators, it’s undoubtedly much more well-written. Having a strategy that evolves alongside your company is very important for long-term success, and the marketing mix has proven itself time and time again for many people.
How does the marketing mix look in practice?
It’s all well and good hearing people talk about marketing strategies or see them discuss the strategies online, but actually seeing them in practice is much more beneficial. Theoretical learning and studies are useful of course, but being able to put strategies and abstract concepts in context is hugely important for learning. To see the marketing mix in practice, consider your own company and which parts of the strategy already apply to your work. Let’s work through each of the 7 key points now, and go over what they cover in more depth.
The first point is product, and can refer to a physical or digital product, a service or the main offering of your business. Your product will often form the foundation of your business, and guide the rest of your marketing strategy towards your audience. Without a good understanding of your product, you’re going to struggle to sell it successfully.
After that, it’s price. Your price will have a huge impact on your company turnover and profits – as we noted above – and is absolutely worth paying attention to. What is your price based on, and does it need to change for the new year? Do you have any discounts active? How are you hoping to change your profits by the end of the year? These are all important questions that you should spend some time mulling over. The next point is place. Firstly, is your business online, brick and mortar or a mix of both? This factor will determine your audience type, and the style of marketing that works best for you. This is also the stage of the model that requires you to analyse your audience, and think about where they are from and the best places to reach them.
After price comes promotion. This is the advertising portion of the model. Consider how you are advertising to your audience, and work out how this meshes with your marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and experiment- your audience will be grateful to see that your company is forward thinking and up to date on marketing trends.
Then, it’s physical evidence. This can be taken to refer to branding, and to physical marketing too- such as print work. Is your brand consistent? Are your customers going to be able to spot your work in a crowd and recognize you? This is easier said than done of course; branding is notably tricky and requires a good amount of effort when relating it to marketing.
After this, it’s processes. What processes are taking place in your work environment to help with your marketing? Are your staff getting involved with conversion, for example, or do you have a live chat/chat bot on your website to answer FAQs? If you can’t pinpoint any key processes, you should get started on implementing some immediately.
The final point after this is people. More specifically, this point relates to the community and how your marketing work involves others. The point given in the previously linked Smart Insights article suggests companies like Hubspot investing in online services as an example.
What example in this vein could you find in your own company?
As you can see, the marketing mix is a fantastically thorough marketing model. If you’re looking for more guidance or advice on getting started with this, we would recommend the previously mentioned book by E. Jerome McCarthy as a starting point. There are also plenty of handy resources online, on places like Hubspot’s blog.
How could working with the marketing mix benefit your business?
It can be easy for marketing models and strategies to feel quite alien when you read about them for the first time. Like we said earlier, it’s vital to be able to see concepts and models in practice, instead of just reading about them- so let’s take a look at the marketing mix and the key benefits that you can expect to receive from working with it.
One of the most popular reasons for working with the marketing mix model is that it can make marketing much simpler to work with. Marketing as a whole can feel quite overwhelming and complex, but having a strategic model like the marketing mix to break it down can be very handy- as this blog post by Agenda Mahala notes.
Disorganized marketing can actually be much more harmful to a business than not marketing at all. If you’re going to undergo any marketing venture, you need to know why you’re doing it, who you’re selling to and how you’re going to do it. Without any guidance or structure, you’re going to struggle to find any positive results or changes. Content management systems can be very helpful in this regard. There has been a huge boom this year in software that helps organise and automate marketing, which is great news for both new marketing teams and seasoned pros alike.
There are plenty of different software providers, each with different styles of software, features and price ranges. If this is something that you’re going to look into in 2020, make sure that you shop around and get different quotes before you purchase. Another notable benefit of working with the marketing mix is that it allows a holistic view of marketing ventures. It can be easy to work towards a sales target without considering the knock-on effect that it might have on other aspects of the business, but the marketing mix does not allow for this behaviour.
When presented with the marketing mix, businesses have to be able to look at each element alongside their chosen marketing efforts, and analyse whether it is going to be beneficial for the company as a whole or not. It’s an incredibly useful tool to have at your disposal. Something else that’s great about the marketing mix is that it helps encourage proactive allocation of resources and tasks amongst a team. Again, this comes down to the requirement for a solid structure in a marketing team.
The marketing mix helps allocate the right tasks to the right members of the team, and can help to promote productivity as a result. There’s nothing more frustrating than being asked to complete a task when you don’t know what you’re doing, and the marketing mix overcomes this frustration with ease. Being able to view the marketing strategy as a whole also allows for the intelligent allocation of resources. For example, if you don’t know how much money is going to be needed to purchase and install your new piece of software next quarter, it can be hard to budget for your new pieces of equipment this quarter.
As you can see, working with the marketing mix has a wealth of benefits associated with it. If you’re looking for a way to add more structure to your marketing work and to amplify your profits, why not discuss implementing it with your team today?
Everything you need to know about the six sigma process
Moving on from the marketing mix, we wanted to take a look at the six sigma process. This is another one of our personal favourites here at Arantxaonline, and we couldn’t write a paper about improving turnover without bringing more attention to it.
If you haven’t heard of the six sigma process before, it’s a two-fold process that aims to improve a business. As this helpful post by Villanova University notes, it aims to reduce waste within a business and to improve the quality of the business as well. Generally speaking, it’s a fantastic model to get involved with, and that’s why we’re writing about it today.
This set of methodologies was originally introduced by the Motorola Corporation, back in the 1980s. It’s being used by businesses all over the globe, and is present in a wide number of modern business strategies in a plethora of sectors.
There are two key sides to the six sigma process to be aware of- DMAIC and DMADV. Firstly, let’s look at DMAIC. DMAIC is more relevant to industries that involve physical products and manufacturing. It stands for;
The aim is for a project to be taken through each one of these stages, to give more structure to the work and encourage a higher quality. It works perfectly well with marketing campaigns and projects, as it offers a complete template to follow. The other side of the six sigma process is DMADV. This aspect of the methodology is much more in line with analysis and examining the customer relations side of a business. The acronym DMADV stands for;
This aspect of the six sigma process is also very useful for helping to improve productivity and quality within a company, and can have a positive effect on the results at the end of each quarter too. When paired together, these two halves of the six sigma methodology provide a holistic view of a business, and offer a huge boost in work quality. They can be used by themselves to analyse and improve upon projects individually, but for maximum effectiveness, we would suggest using both DMAIC and DMADV alongside each other.
How you can use the six sigma process for marketing.
As you will know by now, marketing is a huge part of the reason why we wanted to create this white paper for you all to read. Therefore, we wanted to move onto the uses of six sigma methodology in practice from the perspective of a marketer. The DMAIC section of six sigma is the most appropriate for marketing, so that’s what we will be going over here.
As this helpful CMSWire article points out, the DMAIC method is perfect for setting up and working through a marketing project. It has a strict structure with enough room for creativity, and a lot of guidance towards quality work and growth. Here’s how we would suggest working through a marketing project using the DMAIC method;
- Start off by setting out clear, understandable goals for your marketing campaign. Make them tangible and measurable goals that you can track your progress on, and try to prevent them from being vague dreams where possible.
- Analytics are a huge part of marketing, so it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping track of your progress and measuring your success.This is especially relevant for social media marketing; without using your analytics pages, you’re going to struggle to make any tangible progress.
- Following on from the previous point, try to spot trends and patterns in your campaign. Are there certain types of content that perform better at certain times of day for example? Use your data to make wise decisions moving forwards.
- Take a critical look back at your campaign whenever possible, and use your existing work to improve your future content.
- Towards the end of this process, you should be able to understand your marketing campaign on a much deeper level, and be able to exert a higher level of control over the results that you get.
As you can see, the DMAIC process follows on naturally from one point to the next and meshes perfectly with a standard marketing campaign. If you’re looking for a way to add extra structure to your marketing campaign, this is the answer for you.
The importance of understanding your target market.
Following on from the previous section, it’s incredibly important to have a good understanding of your target market if you want to be able to improve your annual turnover as a company. ‘Target market’ and ‘audience segmentation’ are buzzwords that are thrown around a lot, especially in the marketing and sales communities.
But when was the last time that you truly took a moment to understand your target market and use your audience data to make meaningful content?
Having a good understanding of your target market is essential for business success, as Forbes notes. It’s something that businesses in all sectors and industries need to do, regardless of their style, team size or budget. After all, how can you sell something effectively without understanding who it is that you’re selling to?
One of the main benefits of spending time working with your audience is that it means you can narrow down your marketing efforts, and create more targeted content. Sending out content that is specifically geared towards your audience is a great way to make sure that you get higher engagement rates and encourage more sales.
If you’re not convinced, consider email marketing failures as an example. Isn’t it disheartening to get an email addressed to [FIRST NAME] sent to you? Or a string of adverts about a new range of ice cream when you’re a die-hard vegan? Poorly targeted marketing can do much more harm than good, and it’s worth spending the extra time working on your target audience data to save yourself the hassle.
Working on your target market data can also help you make more informed decisions when it comes to your marketing and sales content. Without any information on who your customers are and what they’re interested in, it can be a mad scramble to determine which social media platforms to use and what times of day to post your content.
If you really want to make an impact on your company turnover this year, you’re going to need to spend some time working on your target audience data and segmentation. It may take a considerable time and effort to get it right, but you’ll be thankful for it all in the long run.
How to determine your target audience
So, how do you find your target audience? It may seem like a big feat to accomplish, especially if you’ve not spent any time on it with your team in the past. It does take time and effort for sure, but it’s not as complex as you might think.To start off with, you’re going to need to do some analysis. This is a big theme for us as we come into 2020- data work and analysis may not be the most fascinating parts of business, but they are certainly some of the most important.
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Analyse your customer base, and go through your existing data to see what types of people buy from you. This handy article from Inc notes the importance of working through your current customer base and trying to spot trends. What common characteristics are there, and what particular type of person can you target to drive up sales?
Additionally, make sure to take a look at your peers and competitors to analyse how they’re targeting their own audience. You don’t need to do what they’re doing, per say, but it is worth being aware of what other businesses are doing to reach their audiences so that you can figure out your own niche gap in the market. Analyzing your own products and services is also crucial for determining your target audience. Gaining a better understanding of where you stand in the market can help you to figure out which parts of the world your business appeals to, and where your key marketing efforts should be going over the year.
Once you’ve spent some time working on your analysis, spend a while considering the different characteristics of your ideal client. What age are they? Where do they live? What is their job role? Build out a persona for them, almost as if you’re writing a story and building fictional characters. Try to make them as detailed as possible, and do multiple personas if it’s necessary too.
It’s important to bear in mind that your target audience and audience personas may change and evolve alongside your business. Come back to them and review them every now and then, to help make sure that they are as accurate and as helpful as possible.
Why is analysis such an important part of business?
You may have noticed that analysis has been a big theme throughout this paper, and there’s a good reason for this. Data is simply at the core of everything we do in business. Even if you work in a creative role, for example, there will be core statistics that determine what work you need to do e.g. which previous designs have garnered the best responses from your audience online. Being able to spot trends in data and understand the patterns is a huge part of finding success as a company.
Luckily, there are some fantastic tools available to help out with analytical work, especially in regards to marketing. Over the last year, plenty of content management systems and social media analytical pages have been developed and refined to help make our jobs even easier.
The tools are all there- it’s important to utilize them to the best of your ability.
The most important areas of your business to keep tabs on.
Whilst it’s important to keep track of your business as a whole, there are certain elements that are particularly important to look at when it comes to analytics. These areas of business can have the biggest impact on your sales and customer experience, and they are;
- Social media marketing. We mentioned a moment ago that social media analytics have been improved upon immensely over the past year, which is worth bearing in mind when you’re trying to improve your marketing efforts. Almost every major social media platform nowadays will have a great analytics page to reference when you’re trying to use social media for marketing purposes.
Take Instagram, for example. The Insights page is incredibly robust, covering the three main topics of content, activity and audience. From these 3 main sections, you can find information on your target audience, the best times to post and your highest performing pieces of content.
Put simply, social media analytics pages are incredibly useful to have at your disposal.
- Customer feedback and sentiment. Understanding how people feel about your company and your products is vital for success. We’ll be going over customer feedback in more depth later on in the paper.
- Digital marketing. It’s not just social media marketing that needs to be analyzed, either. Email marketing campaigns, SEO advert results and other digital marketing efforts should also be tracked and monitored extensively wherever possible.
- Products and sales. A final area of business that you simply cannot afford to miss out on when working on analysis is your sales. Which services are selling the best? What have you had in stock since 2017? This data will help you make informed purchases and decisions in the future.
This list is not extensive, of course- these are simply the most important ones that we have picked out, based on our own experiences.
How to keep yourself up to date with the latest industry trends
Following the theme of ‘keeping tabs’ for a moment, it’s vital that you keep yourself up to date with the trends and developments within your industry as 2020 develops. There are several key ways that you can do this. One of the main ways is to stay active on social media, on both personal and work accounts. Get involved in conversations with other companies and see what the latest opinions and debates are about. Maintaining an active presence online will help you stay aware of what’s important in your own sector.
Another way to keep yourself up to date with the latest developments as the year rolls on is to keep up to date with the hottest startups and innovators within your sector. Find some up and coming companies to keep an eye on, and watch how they grow in 2020 to get a feel for potential new trends or technologies. Staying active in networking and social scenes is important too. Make sure that you don’t miss any crucial conventions or networking events, as they could hold important information regarding your industry and job role.
The importance of getting customer feedback
It’s incredibly important to be able to take a step back from your business and be able to look at your business from the perspective of your customer. Being aware of your customer’s journey with your company and their experience with the brand is one of the most valuable tools that you can have for your business. Self-awareness is an incredibly positive trait to have at your disposal, and that’s why we firmly believe getting feedback from customers is so important. Asking a customer to fill out a form or leave a comment after working with you/purchasing your product is a fantastic business move, for multiple reasons.
Firstly, getting customer feedback allows you a unique look into your customer’s mind, and shows you exactly what they thought of your work. This is heightened if you provide an anonymous way to give feedback, as some customers may be too nervous to leave a bad review or make a critical remark. Additionally, customer feedback can help shape your products and services to make them even more fantastic in the future.
For example, let’s suppose that there is an area of your service that is repeatedly flagged as being an annoyance by a number of customers. This shows you that there is something that needs to change, and can help improve the customer experience, as noted by this handy Start Question blog post.
Following on from this, asking for feedback shows your customers that you are listening. This may sound obvious, but it’s very easy for brands to slip away from their audience and become alienated. Showing your customers that you are listening to their thoughts and feelings is incredibly important, and it will encourage more engagement from them too.
If you are asking for feedback, though, you need to make sure that you’re actually following up on it. Telling customers that you’re listening and then not doing anything about their feedback is going to do more harm than good in the long run. A final benefit to note about asking for customer feedback is that it provides resources for potential customers to view and learn about your company from. Possible clients can look you up online, and find existing reviews to base their decisions on.
Put simply, it’s incredibly valuable to have customer feedback options available. But what are the best ways to ask for feedback if this isn’t something that you have in place already? If you run a shop, it’s always great to encourage your customers to leave feedback after purchasing. Even if they weren’t 100% satisfied, it’s handy to know their opinions on the product and general experience of shopping with you.
Having feedback forms available is also very useful if your business offers a service or digital product. Try to make it as simple and quick as possible, and make it anonymous as well if that’s possible. Offering some sort of incentive to fill out a feedback form can be very beneficial too, like a discount code for example. Some people get nervous about asking for feedback, which is completely understandable. However, if you don’t ask- you don’t get! Try reaching out to some past clients, and asking for a testimonial for your website, or adding a contact/feedback form on there too.
Why business efficiency is so important.
Something else that is worth noting when discussing how to improve company turnover is business efficiency. Efficiency and work practices undoubtedly have an effect on company successes, so it’s important to be mindful of productivity levels within your own company. The term ‘business efficiency’ can refer to a number of things, as this article by Simplicable points out. To put it generally, the term refers to how well a business takes an input (like labour or materials) and turns it into an output (such as profit or return on investment).
One of the most common types of efficiency that is spoken about in business is employee productivity. Namely, how much work is being produced by employees in the day to a high standard. This obviously has a huge impact on a company’s success levels, and can be affected easily by improving the quality of life for employees.
Operational efficiency is worth discussing too, as this can have a big impact on end results. Improving internal operations and processes can make the working day much more pleasant for employees, improve the quality of work produced and give rise to better results and statistics at the end of the day.
Put simply, if there is a way to make your working day more efficient, you should jump on it. Don’t be afraid to change things up or try new techniques- you never know which new method or tool will help bring you a higher turnover as a company.
How to improve productivity within your business.
Improving productivity and efficiency within a business can be a lot more simple than people might think. Our personal top tips for improving productivity are inspired by this Business Town article, and they are;
- Allocate work effectively. When it comes to projects and big pieces of work, make sure that each person involved has an appropriate amount of work delegated to them, to save time and prevent anyone from becoming too stressed.
- Improve the workplace conditions. Make sure that employees have a comfortable, safe place to work and feel confident in their abilities, and keep communication channels open and free of judgement.
- Set realistic yet challenging goals. Goals should provide somewhat of a challenge, yet they should not stress you or your team out. Look into SMART goals as a guideline on how goals should be set in the workplace.
- Make sure that your employees are happy. Don’t just treat people like machines in the workplace- spend time talking with them, and ensure that there is nothing negative going on at work that could be detrimental to their mental health.
Of course, some points will vary from business to business, depending on the industry and work style. Employee health and happiness is paramount regardless of the sector, though.
Why SEO is something that you can’t afford to miss out on
Moving on from workplace efficiency, let’s take a look at the importance of SEO. Search engine optimization is a term that you will have undoubtedly heard being thrown about this year. It’s an area of the business industry that is constantly changing and evolving, and it can feel a little overwhelming to keep up with. It is, however, vital for success.
Having a solid SEO strategy to pair with your marketing efforts is a brilliant way to get better results on your campaigns. After all, what’s the point in creating beautiful marketing content for your website or advert campaigns if they rank 357th in Google? You need to make sure that your voice is heard online, and people rarely go past the first page of search results.
It’s an incredibly saturated market nowadays, so to really get your brand in front of the right people online, you need to ace your SEO work. This means optimizing your content ruthlessly, to make sure that your target audience is greeted by your business every time they’re searching for a relevant product or service. A great knock-on effect of working with SEO techniques is that it can also improve your customer experience and the quality of your content too, as this helpful Search Engine Journal article points out. As we’re sure you can imagine, these are both benefits that are fantastic to have when you’re looking to boost your turnover.
How to work on your SEO strategy in the coming year.
So, how do you get started with SEO in your own business? It comes down to optimizing content, in most cases. Every piece of your content online needs to be crafted meticulously so that it’s friendly to search engines and pleasant for readers to consume. If you’ve never worked with SEO techniques before, it would be wise to perform a content audit. Take a look at all of the social media content, blogs, website copy and other pieces of digital work, then spend some time honing them to fit SEO standards. This is a lengthy procedure, but the benefits of having optimized content are immense.
You need to optimize other aspects of your content and website, too. Aspects like your site responsiveness, image tags and blog tags are often not thought of when the topic of SEO comes up, but they all contribute towards search engine rankings, as Quick Sprout states.
Links are hugely relevant to search engine optimization as well. Try to get other sites to link back to your pages, and make sure that external links in your own content open in separate tabs. Check that all of your existing links work well too. Small details like this are easy to pass over, but can have a huge impact on your rankings overall. Generally speaking, SEO work can feel fiddly and annoying at first, but it is absolutely worth the time. If you’re not ranking highly online, your customers simply won’t find you.
How to prepare your marketing strategy for the new year
Marketing can be confusing and overwhelming. There’s a mass of information in this paper, yet there are some areas of marketing that we haven’t even touched upon e.g. telemarketing. So where on earth do you start when you’re looking at prepping your marketing strategy for the upcoming year? The best place to start off is a content audit. We’ve mentioned this a few times already, but it is worth repeating again. Have a look at what existing materials you have already, and see whether things can be repurposed e.g. do you have blog posts that would make good podcast episodes, or a lengthy white paper that would be a good eBook?
Next, make a content calendar. Having a structured view of what campaigns and content will be going out throughout your year is essential for hitting deadlines and meeting targets. There are some fantastic digital options like Coschedule available right now. Set yourself some achievable yet challenging goals to hit with your marketing efforts, too. Having goals and targets is the only way to make sure that your work is measurable and that your results actually mean something. Make sure to reference these throughout the year, to keep track of your progress.
Be prepared for your strategy to change throughout the year. Without a doubt, there’ll be some new social media platform or SEO strategy to contend with by the middle of the year. The important thing is to have your goals and a willingness to adapt to new trends.
The best ways to find inspiration for marketing campaigns this year
To finish up this paper, we wanted to go over some of the best ways to find inspiration for your marketing campaigns this year. Marketing is, fundamentally, creative, and it can be hard to stay inspired. Whether you’re in charge of separate elements of a business like social media, or an entire team or marketers, it’s important to keep your ideas fresh and relevant.
Having active, engaging marketing work that’s up to date with current trends is one of the best ways to bring in more sales throughout the year- thus improving your turnover as a company, which is what we are focused on in this paper right now.
One of the best ways to find inspiration for marketing work is to keep up to date with your industry. We’ve touched upon the importance of this throughout the paper, but it is worth noting again. Missing out on new social media platforms or developments in technology is a guaranteed way to make your marketing campaigns stale.
Social media is a huge part of this. If you want to make sure that you’re reaching the best portion of your audience at the most valuable times, you’re going to need to be on every social media platform and channel possible.
Of course, it needs to be relevant and tangible- but if there’s a new social media platform that you know your audience would enjoy, you’re going to need to work that into your schedule. Your digital presence can have an immense impact on your company’s reputation and your overall sales results too.
Following on from this point, staying active on social media is another great way to make sure that you’re inspired and full of ideas. Make sure that you’re on the social media platforms that your customers are on, and try to get a feel for the style of content and the influencers that they are engaging with.
Additionally, make sure that you’re aware of what your peers and competitors are up to with their marketing. Don’t try to do what they’re doing, of course. Just spend some time analyzing the competition, and find out what you could be doing better. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to find inspiration for marketing. Get involved in some groups and communities, and engage with other companies. See what interesting discussions you can join, and see whether you can pick up any handy tips along the way.
A final key way of staying inspired with your marketing is to read. Sounds simple, right? Reading is one of the best ways to stay full of ideas and actively engaged, no matter what it is that you’re doing. Try reading some other white papers or blog posts to start, or have a look at the interesting books that we listed earlier.
Reading will help sharpen your mind, and it can also help you to come up with new ideas too. It doesn’t even have to be specifically marketing-based literature. Just try to stay active with your reading and media consumption, to keep the ideas bubbling over. Our top recommendations for books, articles and papers to read right now are;
- The Foundations Of Marketing by Bronis Verhage
- Service Providers Strategy by Wouter de Vries, Niels Dekker and Hans Hylkema
- Value – Value Design by Alexander Osterwalder and Alan Smith
- Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
- Blue Ocean Strategie by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
- Strategy & Marketing by Professor Davide Chiaroni
- The SWOT Analysis by Christophe Seth
These are all pieces that have helped us stay inspired with our own personal work. If you can sort out a constant stream of ideas and creative concepts for your marketing work, you’re sure to see some fantastic results at the end of the first quarter.
To sum up
As you can see, it’s no easy feat to improve your annual turnover and results as a company. This isn’t a project that you can take on and finish within a month, unfortunately. To truly see an impact within your company and to feel the benefits, you’re going to need to make some intense, visible changes across the board.
It’s not impossible, though, as you can see from this paper. With some careful planning and strategic thought, you’re going to be able to make 2020 the most productive year for your business yet. No matter whether you’re a brand new startup or an established global business, you should be able to rise to even higher heights in the new year.
Marketing is undoubtedly going to be one of the hottest industries in 2020. It’s already seen immense innovation and creativity in the space of the last 12 months, and as digital marketing professionals, we are incredibly excited to see where it might go in the new year. If you haven’t got a marketing strategy in place already to mesh with your sales and admin work, this is the time to put one together. As we stated earlier, the new year is arguably one of the best times to experiment with new technologies and introduce new schemes to help make your business even more productive.
Try setting yourself some new year’s business resolutions, to help keep yourself on track. Where do you want your business to be on December 31st 2020? Remember to be specific. How many followers on Instagram do you want, for example, or how many monthly sales are you trying to make? The more specific you are, the easier it will be to track your progress.
Remember to keep up to date with your industry as the year progresses. Keep your social media active across the board, and pay attention to what your customers, peers and competitors are doing. Staying active and engaged will help keep you and your team educated, and help you to provide an even better service overall.
Don’t be afraid of change going into the new year, either. New technology and concepts can be intimidating, of course, but if you really want to see an impact on your annual turnover and success as a business, you’re going to need to be able to adapt and evolve with the times. What’s the harm in trying out a new strategy? Show your audience that your company is modern and forward-thinking, and they’ll appreciate it. If you’re looking for top quality marketing, web design or development work in the new year, make sure to get in touch with a member of our team today. We’re proud to offer fully bespoke, intuitive work, and we’re dedicated to helping our audience make the best impact with their work possible.
Additionally, if you’re searching for a trustworthy store to purchase ink cartridges, top quality branded printers or gift cards from, then Arantxaonline has got you covered. We’re thrilled to have seen such wonderful business throughout 2019, and we are all very excited to see where our online store might go in the new year. Want to find out more about a particular point that we made in this paper? Looking to learn more about a key service, or give feedback on our work here? We would be more than happy to hear from you. You can get in touch with a member of our in-house team at [email protected] today, or contact us through our website.