Everyone knows it’s beneficial to get a physical each year. Your doctor asks a lot of questions, checks your vitals, looks for anything that may need a closer examination, provides an analysis of your overall health, and then makes recommendations.

Chris Rainey

Just like we all need to pay attention to our health, as businesspeople we also need to evaluate the health of our marketing efforts. While this time of the year is always over-the- top busy, it can also be a great time to review what’s been working and not working with your marketing. So, step into my office and let’s run through three critical areas.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you actively engaged with social media platforms personally and professionally? If you aren’t personally using social media, then it’s not the best idea for you to try and do social media for your business. Instead, hire someone who understands it.

Focus on the social media channels that make the most sense for your business. If you don’t know where to start, begin with the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Put your efforts into developing content for one or all of these platforms because it’s where the majority of your customers are spending a lot of time. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently reported that between Facebook and Instagram alone, people are spending an average of 50 minutes engaging with the platforms daily.

LISTEN UP

How much time do you spend listening to your customers and employees? Do you regularly connect with them to understand their needs? The insight and ideas they can provide are invaluable. You need to be in touch with industry and cultural trends so you can respond quickly and accordingly. Two of the easiest ways to gather valuable data are:

  • Form focus groups that you can meet with in person. To get the most out of your time, send them the questions or topics you will be covering ahead of time. Then set a schedule to connect with them between two and four times each year.
  • Use an online survey service like SurveyMonkey to quickly put together surveys and invite your customers to take them through a link you provide in an email. 

The obvious next step is taking this data and applying it. By combining information from your in-store data, online analytics, and customer/employee feedback, you’ll be able to create a good picture of where you hit the target and what areas you need to consider going after.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

How have you been creating and providing incredible and memorable customer experiences this year? Your customers have expectations that are higher than ever, which require you to be painstakingly aware of the experience you are providing.

With the rise of social media storytelling platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, stories your customers are telling about their experiences matter more and more. So, what does an over-the-top experience look like for your business?

Once you identify the elements that make up a great experience, it must become part of the culture of your business. Every customer touch point must have experience at its core. From your frontliners to your website, you have to become fanatical about the experience.