When writing a marketing strategy for the first time, there are many things to consider. How much should I spend? What are my expectations? Where should I start!? Nick discusses with these 5 handy tips…
Work out your goals – We find it’s often really helpful to take a step back and think about what you’re actually looking to achieve, and how much business you actually want. When you have a great product or service great marketing can often lead to excessive demand which creates a problem from a service level point of view. On the other hand, if you don’t appeal to the right audience, in an effective way, you could end up with no business. Which is not cool. Pinpoint how many sales you need over a longer period of time, and plan your marketing around achieving those sales. Success often doesn’t happen over night, unless you’re the next Youtube sensation.
Find out who your customers really are – It’s better (and cheaper!) to target the people that really want your services, rather than blanketing your marketing to every person on planet earth. Do some research into your competitors that you consider to be a benchmark, and try to find out who their customers are. How old are they? Mostly male/female? What social media sites do they use? What magazines or blogs do they use? Gathering this data or even some rough ideas will instantly make your marketing more effective. Marketing works when you communicate the reasons why your products and services are so awesome directly to your target market, often not when you try and do things solely from your point of view.
Allocate a budget – Marketing is not free. Whether it costs money or time, there is a resource cost that comes with it. If you’re starting a new strategy, keep your monthly spend small and test the water with different marketing techniques. If you’re established, evaluate where your money is going and decide whether you’re getting value for money or not. Are you spending enough time on your social media? Did you know you can spend money on social media advertising? Constantly evaluate and re-evaluate.
Stay consistent – One of the biggest marketing fails we see, is when businesses have fantastic growth plans and great marketing ideas going forward, but then nothing ends up happening. Sometimes marketing activities can get put on the back burner when you get busy, but we feel it’s important to FORCE yourself to be consistent with it. Failing to do so, might cause problems in the future where no enquiries or business is coming in because your marketing has been put on hold.
Plan to plan – Sounds tedious, but after your original strategy/plan, your marketing activities should be reviewed on a regular basis. Have meetings internally and/or with your marketing agency to chat about successes and failures. The more you can evaluate what you’re doing, the better. It’s great to have honest discussions about new ideas, quirky marketing campaigns and what your competitors are doing.
The common themes here are consistency, approaching marketing with an open mind and willing to take (educated) risks. Pushing the boundaries and reinventing what you’re doing with your marketing will give you brilliant results.
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