Marketing is the activity which creates awareness of your products or services and brings new business in. However, it does require you to spend time on your business rather than in it. This means, creating a cohesive and sustained marketing strategy to create awareness and desire for your services or products. A mistake a lot of people make is to try something once and, if it doesn’t yield the desired result, drop it and move onto something else. That’s understandable but means that you are never leveraging off that effort.
Imagine that you decide on an advert. You spend a fair amount of money, but nada. Not one single enquiry. Is advertising wrong for you? Not necessarily. There are lots of factors which could affect its success: Was it the right publication? Is your branding attractive and in keeping with your product or service? Was the advert professionally designed? Is your USP clear? Is the wording enticing? Does it have a call to action? Does it clearly state how they can contact you? Is it on the right page? Does it lend itself better to radio or TV? Is the timing right for you? With advertising, one insertion is rarely sufficient. It needs to be part of a campaign, but before committing to that, you need to make sure you have everything right.
Advertising is just one of many different marketing methods from seminars to networking, newsletters to referrals, direct mail to PR, internet to telemarketing, direct selling to alliances. Social media is extremely popular but it is so easy to waste a lot of time if you don’t do it right. How do you know which will be right for you? How do you know where to invest your hard earned cash? Marketing is an art, not a science, and it very much depends on your product, your competition and your available budget.
There are certain areas that you shouldn’t scrimp and save. For example, I have seen many businesses who describe themselves as selling a quality product but whose business card is cheap, flimsy and ill-designed. Yet others who have hired telemarketing people who do not understand their product at all, and who follow a script which does not fit the conversation. And yet more who spend a lot of money on a beautiful website, only to have no-one see it because it hasn’t been optimised.
Points to consider are why someone should buy from you? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competition? Where can you differentiate? Who is your ideal customer? What problems are you solving? Remember that people don’t want a washing machine – they want clean clothes. Speaking directly to your customer and their needs makes all the difference – you want to inspire them to buy and have a brand which is suitable for your target market.
Once you have your campaign in place, it is important to monitor all your enquiries to see which effort is yielding the best results for you. This lets you know what works and why, what doesn’t and why, so that you can refine, refine, refine.
Of course, once you have attracted a customer into your business, it’s essential to keep them happy. Happy customers bring more prospects to you.
If you would like help in navigating this minefield, do call me on 0845 130 0854. I would love to help you make a success of your business. After all, my success is your success!
© Tricia Woolfrey 2012
About Tricia Woolfrey – click HERE to find out about the author.