- No matter the size of your business, effective marketing will help strengthen and expand your customer base, but how can you get your business or product in front of the right people at the right time? Steve Curzon, MD at Curzon Marketing is here to help
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Investing in your marketing doesn’t have to be a particularly expensive or laborious process. In fact, you can answer some of the key questions to help you formulate a marketing strategy in just fifteen minutes or less. This is your quick-fire, foolproof marketing toolkit to help you get your marketing fit for business.
Answer the Three Big Questions
Start by setting all marketing jargon aside and answering the three crucial questions at the core of any strong marketing strategy - it’s that simple.
Who am I talking to?
Establishes who your customer is. Paint a portrait of them in as much detail as possible – who are they? What are they interested in? How and where do they shop? What are their priorities? If you are an established business, you may already have some idea of who your customer is. If you are just starting out, get a piece of paper and mind-map who your product or service is for. There are lots of ways that you can build up a picture of your customer base. Ensure you have Google Analytics (a free data analysis tool offered by Google) set up to track your website traffic. You could also consider using other free online services such as SurveyMonkey (which can be used to conduct customer surveys).
What do I say?
What do you want your brand to say? What are your core values and aims? What makes you different from your competitors? Remember that one of the most important things for any business to consider is how you and your product are distinctive. Spend some time scribbling down what your business is about and what sets you apart. What you say about your brand is as much about your message as it is about presenting yourself to your customers in a way that’s relevant to them. Once you’ve nailed down the key “touchpoints” of your brand this should be reflected in everything you do: branding, packaging design, promotional materials, website design and advertising messages.
Where do I reach them?
Consider how you can best target your customer and make your media choices selective, focused and consistent. For example, if your customer is likely to be using Social Media, target them online. If they’re likely to read a certain publication or listen to the radio, you could consider advertising on relevant platforms. However you choose to branch out and market your product, make sure the results will be measurable - if you’re sending out an email newsletter, for instance, you can build up a database of customers and track who is opening and engaging with emails.
Less is more
Getting tangible results from your marketing requires investment, but don’t try and do everything at once. Instead, focus on doing a few things well to keep your brand identity simple, consistent and direct.
One of the common mistakes businesses make is to try and say or do too much. Think about a couple of businesses which have a strong, recognisable brand. Chances are they’ve achieved this through building a simple, consistent identity when it comes to marketing their product. Successful marketing means consistently sharing your message, not sharing lots of messages at once. Keeping things simple in marketing is key.
With the groundwork in place for a strong marketing strategy for your business, look at how you can quantify the success of your marketing in the weeks and months to come. Identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and chart them regularly. Whether it is growing your database of customers, gaining followers on Twitter or Instagram, selling more products online or bringing customers from a different area or demographic into your business; setting goals will allow you to see your marketing in action and assess how much it is strengthening your business.
Review your strategy every month or so to begin with to identify any adjustments that need to be made. Make these goals for growth realistic – don’t expect success overnight! Successful marketing is as much about dedication and consistency over time as it is about instant exposure.
Marketing your business really is as simple as one, two, three. Who are you speaking to? What do you want to say? Where do you reach them? When the core identity of your brand is clear and consistent, marketing becomes an easily manageable part of the day-to-day running of your business rather than a problem to be solved. Marketing is the vessel for your brand to be seen by as many potential customers as possible, so it’s worth investing in. However, remember to keep it simple. Show the market what you’re made of and watch your business grow.
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