Why you need to assess, research, plan – for better marketing results

Do you want a foolproof way to get better results from your marketing without having to spend more money?

Here it is:

You have to DO THE WORK.

Sorry, there’s no secret formula. No marketing expert with a quick fix or a magic wand to wave so every marketing activity you do brings you dream customers. I wish it was that simple.

While you don’t need to spend more money on your marketing, you DO need to spend the time – to really know your business, your audience and your offering. But imagine what money (and time) you could save down the track if you do that work now.

What work am I talking about, exactly?  

It involves stepping back and looking at your current marketing efforts and, yes, sometimes asking yourself tough questions.

I see too many business owners throwing money at marketing without first working out what’s right for them. I don’t want that for you.

So, to get better results from your marketing, here’s what I recommend you spend the time on:

  • Assess – work out where your brand and business are at now, your USP and marketing message
  • Research – dig deep into your clients, competitors, SWOT and PEST analysis, trends, your offerings and pricing, target market
  • Plan/Implement – keep what works in your assets and activities, ditch what doesn’t, plan your way forward and set timeframes.

Let’s look at these more closely and the WHY for doing each one.


When was the last time you looked at your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and Marketing Message? Do they still fit your brand and business?

USP: This is something you have that your competitors don’t, or that’s difficult for them to copy.

WHY review it? You need to know your USP so you can communicate it to your target market in a way that matters to them.

Marketing Message: This is how you communicate to your audience to engage them and create a community around your brand.

WHY review it? So you can decide HOW you’ll to tell your audience about your brand and offering – in a way that makes them care and ‘want in’.


This is where you dig for the gold – in your brand, your marketplace and the wider world. Knowledge is power, and knowing where you stand with your competitors, customers and prospects empowers you to make better marketing decisions, to spend more wisely and really grow your business.

You don’t just get in a car and drive. You have to learn to drive. Doing this marketing research work is learning to drive your business and take it where you want to go. Here’s the kind of research I recommend:

Check out your competitors: What are they doing well and not so well? Look at their marketing message, their pricing, how often they market and how much engagement they get.

WHY do this? To get clarity on what to do and what not to do, to see any gaps and opportunities you can take advantage of.

Client survey: Ask your clients these questions: What pain did they have that made them choose YOU to solve it? Why do they stick with you?

WHY do this? Because when you get clear on these, you can highlight them in your messaging to zero in on your prospects’ pain points and the benefits of doing business with you.

SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats): this looks at what’s going on for your company, things you can mostly control and influence.

PEST analysis (political, economic, social, technological): these are influences you may not have control over (but it doesn’t have to be all negative!).

WHY do these? Identifying your SWOTs helps you turn any weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities.

Knowing your PESTs helps you find positive influences you may be able to use (e.g. small business tax breaks, grants, automation).

BOTH help you be proactive, not reactive in your business and marketing decisions.

Trends: It’s important to know what the local and global trends are in your industry.

WHY? To stay relevant and competitive in your market and see emerging opportunities. As a bonus, your audience will see you as an expert, which helps them trust you.

Product/services inventory: Taking stock of your products and/or services helps you see what is or isn’t selling.

WHY do this? You may realise you don’t need it all, or see how to create packages and promote them in a way that appeals to your market more.

Pricing: Is your pricing still on par with your industry, or does it need tweaking?

WHY do this? Comparing your pricing with your competitors gives great insights into what your market’s willing to pay. Looking at your profit margins helps you see if an offering is still viable for you.

Who is your audience? Technically, anyone with a pulse, and a positive bank balance, is your customer. But are they your right customer? As marketing expert and founder of Truly, Tara Hunt says: “a winning strategy will be in really understanding YOUR BEST CUSTOMER”. Look at their age group and life stage, location, spending power and patterns and interests.

WHY do this? It helps you match your message and offering to the right people, and means you don’t waste money on marketing to the wrong customer


Once you have all that valuable information from your research, you’re ready to plan your marketing strategy and actions. But you don’t have to start from scratch – I suggest you first work with what you’ve got. So, look at:

Current marketing: List everything you’ve done in the last 6-12 months – whether it’s worked or not. Measure the performance of each activity.

WHY? You’ll see what type of marketing works for you, so you’ll know what to invest time and money on in future.

Current assets: Take stock of your existing marketing collateral (photos, videos, blog posts, brochures, podcasts). What can you repurpose or update and reuse?

WHY? So when you create your marketing plan, you already have content you can reuse in social posts, or on a new website for example. Again, it saves you time and money.

Current resources: List who already helps you with your marketing – in-house or outsourced (e.g. marketing strategist, web developer, content writer or social media expert).

WHY? You’ll see what resources you might need, whether it’s people, equipment or technology.

Timeline: Plot a schedule around your marketing activities for the next year. Think about milestones, events and calendar dates like Mothers’ Day, Christmas etc.

WHY? You’ll have a roadmap and record of activities you can track and measure to see what works and what doesn’t.

This may look like a LOT of work, and I’ll admit – it is. But just as you don’t start renovating your home without some research and a clear plan, to make over your marketing for greater success, you need to do this groundwork first.

If you’re ready to do the work, my free Marketing Makeover workbook steps you through each of the activities above in more detail.

Download it now and start getting better results from your marketing.