How to Market Your Business More Effectively
On the previous blog we concentrated on one of the areas that most people perceive as ‘marketing’: Advertisements and a ‘basic’ advertisement layout. As mentioned although many people regard marketing as ‘adverts’ – this may be a very small part of your marketing (if at all). With very many businesses (although they may say they are looking for more business) they are minus one key ingredient
– a simple proactive marketing system for their business. So this time around I’m going to share three core areas that are the basis of a solid marketing strategy for any business:
We may define marketing as:
“The process to determine customer needs and then tailor the product or service to satisfy these needs”
Consider this – if you’re making a purchase from a large retail chain and get a very poor service from a less than enthusiastic team member could it be possible that you may alter your perception of the complete brand just by this one poor experience and change to another brand? Experience would tell me this is highly likely.
Hence we may also define marketing as:
“Marketing is ANY contact by ANY member of your business with ANY member of the public. From answering your phone to the way you present your business through various media channels”
How you deliver your message then neatly leads me onto:
One of the reasons that sometimes marketing strategies fail is that we don’t fully understand that it could be down to one of three (or worst case all three!) reasons. The only way we can maximise our marketing results is to be aware of these three areas and understand what we may need to adjust or change to increase the marketing response. The three areas are:
Can you clearly define the demographics and psychographics of your target market for your business? Do you have a single target market or multiple markets? Do you know the size of the market? Does it sit within a defined geographical radius of your business? Is it seasonal? Are you affordable for the target market you are approaching?
One of the alarm bells for me when working with a business owner could be when they ‘sell to anybody’. I have a clearly defined type of business (and type of business owner) that I gain the best results with – hence these are my own ‘ideal clients’
Get crystal Clear on your target market. Once you have this clearly defined work on your:
How unique are you? Why should they buy from you? Tailor make your message directly to your target market. What you say to your market and how you say it (whether written or spoken word) will directly affect the response rates of your marketing strategies. The better the message – the better the match to your market.
Master your skills in persuading your prospective clients to take action and contact you.
If you have mastered the first two then you could still fall at the first hurdle if you mismatch the third M of marketing:
The type of media you use will depend on the market you have. How do you contact them in the most effective way? Through direct mail? Magazines? Visitors days (promotions)? Local seminar to groups?
The only way you can know what will work for you in marketing is to test, test, test. Test the market. Test the message. Test the media. Never make assumptions on what you think people will do. A clear indicator of whether your marketing is working or not is very simple: What’s the response rate?
3) Setting up a Simple Marketing System:
The core of any marketing you do carry out will be the marketing system that sits behind it. We cannot make assumptions on what will work and won’t work with marketing – the only way we can find this out is to test each strategy we implement. My suggestion to you (if you don’t already do this) will be to set up a simple marketing system that measures the response rate of each strategy that you use.
As mentioned earlier the simplest way to do this is to decide what information you need to make informed decisions on what strategies to use. Here are some questions for you to consider:
What strategies may work best within my industry?
How many strategies will I run each month?
What will they cost me?
Who will run them? (if not you)
What return have I gained in number of sales and value of sales each month (££)
Which strategies do I increase / drop based on this information?
The key with any marketing strategy that you use is the return on investment. If the strategy is losing you money – then refocus on the 3 M’s (above) – re test and if still no joy – drop the strategy and try another.
There really is no other mystique or magic formula for marketing than this. If your marketing could do with a revamp: go back to basics and run multiple strategies that are monitored monthly for return on investment. If I invest £1000 and it returns me on average £3000 in profits then I keep re-investing in the strategy!