If you are in business then you should be in marketing too, it’s as simple as that! There are many wonderful and descriptive definitions for the term ‘marketing’ but if you think of it as a finding a way to build a relationship with someone who doesn’t know you but wold benefit from using your business products and/or services then you won’t go far wrong.
Marketing is all about promoting and advertising your business products and/or services. Making your business name stand out from the competition and driving customers to your website or storefront. The more you invest in to your business marketing then the more results you should see.
Here are 11 points to help your marketing efforts stay on track.
1. Know Your Customer
Sounds cliché but it is very true. Think about trying to have a meaningful conversation with someone you don’t know; you will have to skirt around a range of subjects before you hit on the one that is relevant to you both. Now think of the same situation but this time you knew who they were and a little background information. The conversation would flow so much easier and freely. The more you really understand your customer – who they are and what they are about- the more you can present your business products and/or services to meet their needs.
2. Know Your Product
Maybe this is another obvious one, but how much do you really look at your products and services with fresh eyes? Are you looking at your product or service only through your eyes or have you stopped to look at it from your customer’s perspective. Whilst your opinion is important the customer’s perspective has so much more value, as we all know that customers only buy when they have a need (or believe that they need).
3. Know Your Message
Simply put … Don’t Babble! No-one likes to read pages and pages of waffle until they get to the important bit! So, what are you trying to say to your customers? How is your business product or service a solution to their problems?
4. Be Consistent
From the moment you set up shop, everything you are and everything you do represents your business and your ‘brand’. Are you being consistent and clear with your message? Is it congruent with how you would like your business to be known and remembered?
I know that your product or service could probably benefit everyone but (sorry to be the bearer of bad news) there is no such market as “everyone”. The everyone market is a series of someones and you get to choose. Segment your market and then you can have the right conversations with the right people.
6. Use Multiple Methods
Think of your job as building marketing muscles and just like going to the gym, no one activity is going to get you the level of fitness you desire – in addition, your customers are being bombarded with marketing messages from your competition. You need to flex your marketing muscles, repeat yourself to be heard and continually shout about your business products and/or services. There are many marketing avenues you can use to your advantage; email marketing, press advertising, newsletter, direct mail etc.
7. Be Consistent
Never stop your marketing! I would be very surprised if you haven’t heard of companies such as McDonald’s and Apple (not the fruit variety!) because of their continual marketing efforts. You also need to be getting your message out there to your target market at least every 30 days. Remember point 6!
8. Think outside of the box
Test New Things – Don’t get complacent just because it worked yesterday or because everyone else is doing it. Try new methods, develop new products. Be innovative, be creative, don’t get stale.
9. Existing Clients
It costs less to get your existing clients to buy from you again. Don’t neglect them in your marketing and conversations. Ask them to refer business for a discount in the future. Strategies like this can work well for both parties.
10. Create a swipe file
Every time you come across something that makes you go wow or amazing store it for a later date. Some of your best ideas and solutions will come from adopting and adapting something that someone else has done. The wheel has already been invented and all you have to do is refine it for your needs.
You need to measure and evaluate what you are doing. If it is working then do more, if not then stop – simple!