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A General Guide To Marketing

Your business cannot have a lasting impact without proper marketing. Marketing gets the word out about your business. It allows you to connect with potential customers and inform them of all the services you offer. It boosts sales, helps you construct a consist client-base and helps you to make a mark on your industry sector.

When considering your marketing – PLAN PLAN PLAN! So how do we start this planning process:-

Brainstorming can help you generate solutions to problems, whether this is idea generation or problem solving. It can also encourage people to commit to solutions, because they have provided input and played a role in developing them. The best approach combines individual and group brainstorming. There are various techniques available whether you are doing this with a few people, a large group, whether you are visual or methodical.

Target Marketing – who, what, where, when why

First, you have to identify who your customers/clients are.  What does your Client Avatar look like? Age / Gender / Marital Status / Location / Work/Job Children / Likes / Dislikes.

Knowing who/what your target market is, helps to ensure your marketing strategies are not a waste of time and money – because your message will be getting to the right people.  And it is as much about what your do want, as what you don’t want – identifying the wrong type of customer helps you to create a marketing campaign that does not attract to them.

Remember this is not about YOU and what you want – this is about what your customers want.  Doing surveys and asking friends/family/existing clients what they want / like / need, will help you to create marketing strategy that reaches other similar clients that you can help, because you have identified their needs.

Content – great content is your chance to shine and show the world your experience, expertise, knowledge and more importantly how you can help your client.  Your product/service should fix whatever their issue is – to make their life easier and more enriched.

Branding – makes a memorable impression about you on consumers, and allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company.  It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. keep it consistent – the visual side of your business will be remembered.

Campaigns – Don’t just have one advert out there and expect the clients to come flooding in.  You have to have a number of strategies to reach a wider audience, in fact a start up should have 10-12 on the go at the same time. Whether its traditional print to the various social media platforms now available.

Budget –  This is where you use the research of your competitors, your target market and test and measuring the results works out where you are going to focus your budget.

Your research may indicate your target market is mainly;

  • Online focused, think about a digital campaign. Eg informative or useful website, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), various online platforms eg Facebook vs Instagram or LinkedIn Vs Twitter.
  • Face-to-face, like business networking events or trade shows.
  • Printed adverts, from glossy magazines to postcards through their door might be the route to take.

It’s likely that to achieve your desired results you will need to do a combination of a number of marketing activities.

Process – Like each area of your business from finance to HR a process ensures accuracy and consistency and marketing is no different.  Successful marketing is based around a process, where you test and measure everything you do, until it’s as effective as you can get it.

Test & Measure – Test (or try) a marketing strategy and then you measure the results you get.   Run the campaign again with one change (as each change allows you to measure again the results and see if that one change made it better and more effective and better results):

Tweak a headline – If your new headline generates a 10% increase in enquiries or sales – keep the new headline and dump the previous one. 

Next test a different offer, again if your response rate increases – keep it. If it reduces change it and test that change.

Summary

Once you’ve developed your marketing strategy you should continually evaluate and re-evaluate your business activities (test & measure).  

When deciding on your marketing strategies consider:-

  • Target Market
  • Budget
  • Test & Measure
  • Branding
  • Process

Referrals are the best form of marketing you can get – not necessarily for quantity, but for quality.  People buy people and like to use the products and services from companies they have been recommended to. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and recommendations.  If you do a great job – your clients will become your sales force!

Marketing is a massive area of running your business and all the tips and ideas can not be covered in one FactSheet – so if you need help on a particular area don’t hesitate to contact us, whether this is; Social media marketing / Marketing Strategies / Test and measuring / Identifying you target market

Remember your marketing campaigns may not be perfect to start with, they become a work in progress until you get the results you desire.

“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time” – Henry Ford

Author

victoria sharp

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