Ahoy 2020! Will your marketing budget float?

Hard as it might be to believe, the new year is just a few months away. You probably have some clear ideas about where you want your business to be a year from now. Have you given any thought to whether or not you have the marketing resources to get you there?

Marketing is one of the critical ingredients that can help you sink or swim, but without a budget that matches your goals, you could be stuck treading water.

Here are four questions to ask yourself now before the funding you need is tied up to something else:

What is your target growth rate? If you’re banking on exceptional growth next year, assess whether your marketing budget will even allow you to be competitive. Take a step back and honestly compare your visibility to your competition. Do you stand out? Remember, above-average results often require above-average effort.

Are you launching new services or entering new markets? Consider whether your 2020 business objectives involve reaching a significant number of new potential customers. If you aren’t making major changes to your offerings, it may be okay to largely cut-and-paste your marketing budget from last year. But, if you need to reach new audiences—or get current customers to notice something new about you—what will it take to get their attention?

Are you engaging your current customers? It’s easy to focus on what’s shiny and new, but one of the best investments any company can make is in nurturing loyal customers. Are you actively engaging them, or are you taking their business for granted? Don’t neglect these valuable customers when you’re planning your marketing efforts. In fact, you may even need to step up your marketing to them if you have a particularly aggressive competitor. Do they know your full range of services?

Are you happy with past results? Is your marketing team regularly hitting it out of the park or just getting by? The number of things competing for our attention has grown exponentially. If your messages are drowning in a sea of noise, it might be time to make a bigger investment in marketing or evaluate whether you’re spending your budget on the right tactics.

The new year may seem oceans away, but it will be here before you know it. Act now to ensure your marketing team will have what it needs to make it a great voyage.

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    , 2019