This is the sixth article in a series about powering your small business through 12 areas of internal management.

In this age of social media personalities and influencers, talk about image and platform have moved from the boardroom to the living room. Teens today seem to have an innate sense of managing their online persona.

While the terms and nuances may echo one another, marketing is still the realm of big business. It takes more than an understanding of social apps to successfully manage the full scope of your brand’s identity and position in the marketplace! These are deep waters, full of theory and best practices, that—when applied rev up your business in significant ways. Your approach to marketing is a key area of internal management that will directly impact your business’s financial success.

So what is marketing? I think of it as the collection of activities that make your brand known in the world and especially by your target customer. Marketing covers many activities, such as the branding itself—the logo, the mark, the color palette, the font family, and more. This is how you present your business to the world. But equally important is presenting your business to the world in the right space. Do you want to meet them online or in-person, and how will they know you want to meet them there? Marketing also includes your messaging—the words and images you use to reach the target audience and invite them to join you wherever you are. To make sure your target audience receives that message, you need to know which communication channels they use, whether it’s digital or radio or TV or print.

All of these things and more fall under the category of marketing and are tied closely to sales (more on that in the next installment of this series). Marketing in practice, however, is less like baking and more like creating a stew. Baking requires proper measurements of certain ingredients for the desired result. Creating a stew, however, is more about tossing in a bit of this and that, stirring it up, giving it a taste, and adding whatever you think it needs. Of course, good stews have certain types of ingredients, just as good marketing includes certain activities. But there’s no one perfect recipe. You’ll have to mix it together, give it a try, and adjust.

Which is why it’s so important to regularly assess the results of your marketing strategy. Things change quickly for small businesses, so the approach you used last year—or even last quarter—may not work today. You’ll want to regularly assess your messaging, your offering, and your communications so that you connect well with your target audience for the results you need.

I found this checklist to be helpful for small business marketing strategy. At the very least, it will help you see what elements of marketing need attention so you can start 2021 off with a solid plan in place. Your marketing strategy directly impacts your bottom line, so it’s crucial that you assess your current approach and adjust it. Most marketing assessments find pockets of inefficient communications or wasted energies that can be revamped to benefit your bottom line.

Are you ready to bring this area of internal management into line with your financial management goals? Officeheads is ready to help! We give entrepreneurs and creatives the financial tools, processes, and team needed to move their business ahead of the competition and onto solid financial footing. Reach out today to learn how we can get started.