Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Is Your Company’s Marketing Strategy A Mess?


Marketing is essential for attracting new customers and for encouraging older customers to keep returning. As with any aspect of business, marketing requires organization and planning in order for it to be effective. Many small businesses make the mistake of throwing money into marketing willy-nilly and hoping for the best - this could lead to unfocused marketing that gets you no results, which is a waste of time and money. Only by developing a strategy can you ensure that your marketing is effective. Here are just some of the ways to build a better marketing strategy

Know your audience

The most important ingredient to good marketing is knowing your audience. By working out the people that are most likely to buy into your business, you can create focused marketing campaigns aimed at them. 

Think about the types of people that benefit from your business and then consider where you can find these people, which marketing mediums to use and how you can appeal to their interests. Customer surveys, customer analytics and focus groups are some of the market research tactics that you could try using to better understand your audience.

Know your competition

It’s important that you stand out from your competitors, otherwise your company will go unnoticed. Research into your competitors and use this to work out your USP (unique selling proposition) - this should be something that your company does differently to others. 

An example of a USP could be a restaurant appealing to vegetarians and vegans or a landscaping company developing a specialism in patio design. This USP should be clearly advertised in your marketing. Make sure that it’s not too niche and that there are enough customers out there that are interested in your USP.  

Set clear marketing goals 

It’s important that every marketing campaign has a clear goal. This can help you to judge the success of your marketing and whether you need to make adjustments next time. 

For instance, if you’re running a digital advertising campaign, your aim could be to attract more website visitors, more customers or it could be to simply to spread brand awareness. Find a way to clearly measure your goals such as tracking the activity of online users after clicking on your ad or conducting online surveys to determine whether people notice your ad. 

Know how much you’re spending

You don’t want to be frittering away money on marketing - especially if you’re not generating any extra customers out of it. Set a spending limit on your monthly marketing so that you’re not eating away at your profits. If your marketing is succeeding at attracting more paying customers, you may feel confident enough to increase your marketing budget. Don’t increase your marketing expenditure if you’re not meeting your marketing goals.

Create a schedule

To ensure that you’re dedicating enough time to marketing, it could be worth creating a marketing schedule that you can follow. This could include time each week to update your company blog, post new content on social media, send emails to your mailing list and monitor/adjust advertising campaigns. You may also want to set some time aside for doing research and coming up with new ideas.

Take advantage of automation where possible. For instance, with social media posts, it’s possible to queue up content in advance and schedule ahead when you want it to be posted. This could allow you to plan ahead the whole week’s social media marketing in one day so that you’re not having to log on every day. You can also schedule posts to be shared at key times when your audience is most active when you might otherwise be busy. 

Track all your data in one place

Keeping track of various different marketing campaigns can be difficult. If you’re serious about your marketing, consider whether it’s worth investing in software that allows you to view the progress of all your campaigns in one place. With all in one marketing data to rely on, you could save yourself a lot of time switching between your website, social media platforms and email platforms. Just make sure that you can afford the fees of such software.

Know when to outsource marketing

DIY marketing can save you money, but there are limitations to it. You may not have the knowledge or resources to carry out a successful SEO campaign yourself or organize a successful marketing event. You also don’t want to be spending too much time on marketing and not enough time on the rest of your business.

By outsourcing help, you can ensure that areas of marketing are being handled while freeing up time and energy to focus on other areas of your business. Make sure to always outsource professionals who you trust to take an organised approach and get results. You can find the right company by reading reviews and by asking for recommendations of other business owners.

Establish a clear brand identity

Every business needs a brand identity. This is your company’s personality and it will help customers to better understand your company message. 

A lot of factors go into building a brand. You should consider first the visual aspects such as your logo, the colours you use in your marketing and the fonts. You should then consider your tone of voice and the way in which you want to convey your message. Make sure to incorporate your USP into your brand (if you specialise in selling eco-friendly cleaning products, make sure to incorporate this greenness and passion for the environment into your brand).  

Work on fine-tuning your marketing

If a marketing strategy isn’t working, consider how you can change it to make it work. If a marketing strategy is a success, consider whether you can tweak it to make it even more successful. The best companies are constantly using this approach to fine-tune their marketing so that it constantly becomes more effective. You should still trial out brand new ideas, but you should also make sure that you’re continuing and improving existing ideas that have proven themselves to work. 

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