Every business, regardless of the industry, should have a goal-oriented marketing plan to rise above the competition in today's marketplace. Developing detailed strategies may seem overwhelming to entrepreneurs and professionals that struggle daily just to satisfy busy schedules, but marketing should be one of those activities. Here are some marketing ideas you can build on to stay ahead of the competition.

Focus on the Customer Experience

Customer satisfaction is essential to your profitability. Nearly 60 percent of consumers will turn to a new business to get better customer service. It's important to make great customer experiences standard for your business. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and imagine objectively how your business performs, from advertising to follow-up after completion and payment. If it's not what you'd consider an ideal experience, find ways to improve it.

Know What Works

You won't be able to accurately determine your return on investment (ROI) if you can't track the results of your marketing. If you can't measure the response you're getting, don't spend money on it. Track your ads, coupons, and even emails by using unique codes for each promotion so you can see what kind of sales you generated and which was most cost-effective. Use online analytics to track your social media mentions, shares, ad clicks, and audience. This way you can easily determine what works and what doesn't.

Stay On-Message

You will get better results if your marketing and brand are consistent. Clearly establish what it is that sets your business apart, what visual style and emotional values you want audiences to connect with, and make sure that these ideas are followed by everyone on your staff. Consistent marketing eventually leads to immediate brand recognition, and that inspires familiarity and trust. Your campaigns need to be innovative and adaptable, but what your company represents should be reliable.

Cultivate Referrals

Word-of-mouth promotion is especially valuable today with online audiences, but it's also still important off-line, especially if you rely on local customers. A good reputation or valued skills within your market and your industry are things you can promote. A law marketing retreat, such as those with The Rainmaker Institute, for instance, is an excellent opportunity to promote new credentials, deploy new techniques, and network while doing so.

Business will suffer if you don't have good marketing strategies in place. Success at marketing rarely develops quickly, but if you keep innovating and monitoring results, you'll hit upon the right strategy for your business.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.