Why bother with a Marketing Inventory?
Written by Don Osborn on May 25th 2019
Marketing Training
Do we have any banners?

It’s a week out from an important trade show, and you are scrambling for materials for your booth. Over the year you are pretty sure you’ve purchased marketing stuff, but you have no idea where it is. So it’s a last-minute and rather expensive rush order.

Then there’s the web site. Is it working? Is it fast with no broken links? Are the pages all where they should be? You’d be surprised at how many folks cannot answer these basic and important questions.

As a Marketing Consultant, I am a strong believer in the “toolbox” concept, and I conduct a thorough inventory of the Marketing Toolbox before moving forward with the Marketing and Operations Plan. It just makes sense to make sure all the tools are in working order before planning how best to use them.

What does a Marketing Toolbox Inventory cover? Here’s a general overview:

Branding – This includes logos in all major formats, letterhead packages, signage, staff email addresses, staff photos, swag, promo materials (banners, posters, etc.) and written brand guidelines.

Website Maintenance – This includes everything from speed and broken links to having access to your domain and hosting accounts, SSL certificate, Google Analytics and Search Console accounts, and a performance reporting system.

Website Appeal – While this can be more subjective, there are a number of items typically needed such as no autoplay, minimal stock photos, clear company name, a call to action on each page and a clickable phone number near the top of the home page.

Search Engine Optimization / Google My Business – Useful info here includes word counts for your main web pages, whether your site is optimized for search, proper keywords and use of metatags, etc. Also, have you claimed and optimized your Google My Business account and do you have a Google My Business link to send to customers for reviews.

Data Management – Includes having an accurate customer list, use of a CRM and having a dataflow system for sales.

Email Marketing – This includes your email marketing platform, opt-ins on your website and social media and use of purchased mailing lists.

Social Media – Include "Like" buttons on your website for all social properties, and use and optimization of your Facebook Business Page, LinkedIn account and YouTube channel.

Digital Tools – Including a Contact Relationship Management (CRM) System, password vaults, online payment portals, cloud-based drive (Gmail, Dropbox, etc.) and an auto-scheduler.

Digital Advertising – Do you use banner ads, Pay per Click, Google Adwords, LinkedIn ads, Facebook boosts or Facebook ads?

Traditional Advertising – This includes details about radio, print, outdoor, or direct advertising; also, do you you know your annual cost for each ad format, maintain a media list of all contacts and contracts, have a method to track the ROI on these ads and do you use co-op funding for any of your ads.

Donations/Goodwill - Do you have a donation policy and budget?

Planning – Do you have a marketing plan and a marketing budget?

While this list is just an overview of what you need to inventory, it gives you an idea of the thinking behind doing an inventory in the first place. It's almost impossible to create an effective Marketing Plan when you don’t have all the pieces on the playing board because the best marketing happens when all platforms work together. The goal is for all platforms to have the same message and to be as interlinked as possible. And that only happens when you are organized and methodical. And it all starts with a marketing Toolkit Inventory.

I hope this exercise gives you useful information about what belongs in your Marketing Toolbox. And - some ideas about where to store that banner so you know where it is when you need it!

Don Osborn

Don Osborn helps small businesses increase their sales through organized and strategic marketing. He is an expert at the creation and implementation of marketing plans and strategies. If you're interested in expanding your business then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today. 
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