Your Marketing Manager Checklist
If you are a Marketing Manager starting a new position, here’s a handy marketing checklist to help you get started with your marketing planning.
New Marketing Manager’s Checklist
Congratulations! You’ve landed your dream job and walk into your new office – now what do you do? You need to find out all about your new employer’s marketing strength and weaknesses, their products, positioning and existing marketing activities.
Our Marketing Manager Checklist will help you get started:
Check Your Customer Base
Start off by identifying who your customers are. It is important to have a clear understanding of who is buying your product and what segment of the market you are in. Here are some questions you might be looking to answer:
Who are our customers?
Why do they buy from us?
How many are repeat customers?
How do we market to them?
Do we have a newsletter, printed or emailed? How are they segmented (verticals, geographies)?
Do we run a user group or customer forum?
Are there any referral or affiliate programmes?
Do we invite them to golf/rugby/baseball days?
How do new customers find us/hear about us?
Where do new enquiries get put through to, sales or marketing? Do we record & track them?
Is it possible to build a database of our prospect universe, to have the names of all possible potential purchasers on it?
Review Your Products
Understanding your target audience is key for developing your product positioning strategy and creating relevant messaging for your target markets. Here are a few product questions you should ask yourself:
What are our USPs?
How do they compare to our competitors’ USPs?
How does our pricing work?
Plan Your Marketing Strategy
Implementing a marketing strategy is a key place to start for any marketing checklist. Without one, your business will lack focus, and your marketing efforts will likely be unsuccessful.
Set Out a Marketing Budget
As much as we’d like to, your marketing team isn’t going to have an unlimited budget. Make sure to find out the size of the budget you have to work with and the signing-off process. This will help you make purchasing decisions and decide what should and shouldn’t be included in your marketing plans.
Check on Your Competition
Conducting a competitive analysis can help you learn the ins and outs of your market, as well as how your competition works. A regular analysis should always be on your checklist so you can identify potential opportunities to out-perform them. Below are a few questions you should ask yourself when running through your marketing manager checklist:
Do we know who our prospects buy from today?
What would make them switch to us?
What are our competitors’ pricing and USPs?
Which keywords are their websites optimised for?
Are You Using a CRM?
Primarily used for contact management and sales management, a CRM system provides a central hub that holds all the data for your business accounts/contacts. Your CRM might include your customers, prospects, suppliers, partners, press and even colleagues.
It’s an important factor to consider for your marketing plans, so make sure to ask whether your business is using one, and how to make the most of it.
Check Your Subcontractors
Find out what marketing subcontractors your business is using, such as a PR company, digital agency, website hosting and maintenance.
Are they on a retainer, and if so, how much are they charging and what is the termination notice? There’s nothing like calling a meeting with the new marketing manager to keep them on their toes for fear of losing the account.
Marketing collateral is any media used to promote your businesses products or services. This includes everything from printed materials, like brochures, to your digital content, like a blog. It’s important to check these to make sure that they’re up to date.
Here’s a small list of example collateral.
Before you can start planning your advertising strategies, you need to know the lay of the land. Start off by learning about your existing advertising and work up from there. Again, here are a few questions to help you get started.
What advertising do we do?
What’s the budget?
Can we measure the results?
What PPC campaigns are we running?
Do they have an end date?
What’s the daily budget?
What is the return on investment, cost per acquisition, cost per lead, cost per sale?
Review Your Website
Living in the digital world, your business’s website is crucial in your marketing manager checklist.
If you’ve joined a business that doesn’t have a website, you are probably losing out on opportunities for your business, and you should look at implementing one. If the business already has a website, it’s crucial to ask the following questions so you can optimise it for success:
Where is the website hosted?
Who does the creative and HTML?
Who updates it?
Is it easy to update?
What analytics do we use?
What do the traffic stats look like?
Is it optimised for mobile/responsive design?
What is the uptime?
If it goes down, how would we know – do we use any third-party monitoring tools?
A big part of your website strategy lies with SEO. Therefore it’s important to check these important aspects:
Who does the company SEO, in-house or external? What keywords is the website optimised for?
Do we have monthly stats on keyword performance?
When were the keywords last reviewed?
What systems do we use – CRM system, emailing system, customer databases? Or just lots of spreadsheets? Are all the customers from the accounting system in the database?
Who is responsible for data integrity?
Newsletters & Email Marketing
Newsletters are one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available to market your business. But who writes your newsletter? How often does your business send them? Are they sent as printed and/or by email? All of the above are valid questions on your checklist.
If your business is conducting email marketing, you should also ask the following: do we segment our customer base? What ISP do we use to send them, and do we track engagement such as opens, clicks and clean the database for unsubscribes and bounces?
As you already know, social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. But how is your business utilising social?
Is there a blog?
Do we have LinkedIn and Facebook pages?
Does the business use Twitter?
Do we have individual accounts and/or corporate accounts?
And finally, who is responsible for updating the content?
Using PR, your business is trying to promote your idea, purchase your product, support your position, or just gain recognition for your accomplishments. Here are some questions on how to check the status of your PR:
In house or agency?
Is there a list of key publications we target and the names of key journalists?
Do we have a clippings book?
Do we have a standardised ‘About’ paragraph?
Previous Marketing Promotions
It’s important to check what worked for your new business and what hasn’t. Try asking the following:
What other marketing promotions have been used in the past? E.g. Direct mail, telemarketing, exhibitions, webinars, display ads, radio and TV ads, sponsorship, speaking opportunities, affiliate or referral schemes, pay-per-lead, database marketing.
Is there any data on their costs and ROI?
Did they work? Knowing what has failed in the past, and why, will help you avoid making the same mistakes.
Not all of the marketing manager checklist will be relevant to you, but most will be. You may not get all the answers immediately, in many cases people simply won’t know! Which will be indicative of the challenges ahead!
If you have to prioritise where to start, start with the web site and SEO. Improving that will generate a faster return that tweaking the printed collateral.