Every business needs marketing. Marketing is a means of getting your name out there and informing customers and clients about who you are, what you do, and how your business could benefit them. Without marketing, there’s every risk that even the best idea in the world will fall flat. It’s not enough to have a brilliant business plan. You need to shout about it from the rooftops and make sure you generate sales. If you’ve got a company and your sales have stalled, or you’re preparing to launch a new business, and you’re looking for marketing advice, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some simple strategies you can employ to create a bespoke model that really works.
Research, research, research
There is nothing more important than research when it comes to putting plans together for a marketing campaign. If you dive into the planning process without doing your homework, there’s a high risk that your strategy is going to miss the mark. Take time to use research techniques and methods to gather information. To achieve the best results, you’ll need to collect and analyze data related to your target market. Who do you want to buy your product? Who are you competing against? How are you going to reach potential customers? Break down these areas to answer individual questions. When you’re learning about prospective clients, it’s useful to have information about the demographic, how much your target customer earns and where they shop. How much are they willing to spend? What kinds of products do they already buy? When you’re looking into rivals, obtain information about the products and services that already exist, how much other businesses are charging and what kinds of incentives they use. If you’re looking at marketing techniques, find out how consumers want to be contacted, how they shop and what kinds of offers or promotions they respond to best. Once you have all this data, you can use it to tailor your campaign to appeal to people who are likely to have a genuine interest in your business.
There are many different ways you can go about researching the market and gathering information for your campaign. Send out surveys via email or text, use questionnaires or online polls or organize a focus group. If you’ve got a prototype, it’s particularly useful to trial it and see what buyers think. You can use their feedback and comments to improve the design, as well as to shape the marketing strategy.
Research is something that should be carried out on a continual basis. The business landscape alters and evolves constantly, and you need to make sure that your brand responds to changes and modifications. You want to try and predict trends, rather than following market leaders. Keep asking your customers questions, and utilize the feedback they give you constructively.
Choosing the right marketing methods
There are myriad marketing methods out there. While it may be beneficial to use a selection of techniques, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to utilize every ploy in the book. It’s better to focus on methods that have a high chance of success, rather than spreading your budget too thin and trying to cover every base. Use the findings of your research to narrow down the options and choose strategies that are proven to work in the industry in which you operate. Focus on your target demographic. How do they find out about new products or services? Are they more likely to read a flyer or an email? Do they follow businesses on social media or have they responded to adverts in the press? If you’re targeting adults aged between 18 and 35, it’s highly likely that social media and SEO will prove effective, as most people in this age group tend to spend a significant period of time online on a daily basis. If your research tells you that online marketing is the way forward, you can then tailor your plans to bring about optimum results. If your survey has informed that you that Facebook is far more popular than Twitter, for example, this is valuable information you can use to make your campaign appealing, and most importantly, effective.
Understanding what your customer wants
Once you know which techniques you wish to employ, it’s essential to base your campaign on what your customer wants. Use in-depth research and analytics to deduce what potential clients are looking for. Take SEO as an example. If you’re trying to drive sales by catapulting your business up the search rankings, it pays to be aware of the key terms and words people are using to try and track down businesses like yours. If you’re in the real estate business, for example, take note of methods used by companies like PropertyGuru, and find out what kinds of words and phrases buyers and tenants are using to find properties that are available to buy or rent. If you know what people are searching for, you can take steps to ensure that your content matches the search criteria. It’s also beneficial to know what catches a consumer’s eye. If you’re paying for ads using a platform like Google Shopping, for example, what can you add to make your content more appealing than a competitor’s? Would a review help? Could you offer free postage and packaging? Should you include a note about a buy-back guarantee? Use data analysis to look at consumer trends, but don’t underestimate the importance of getting to know existing customers too. Use their input and ideas to ensure your strategy is relevant and it caters for their needs. You may find that you need to make minor adjustments along the way.
Customer feedback can be incredibly valuable, so make sure you tap into opportunities to find out more about how your clients view your business and use the information you obtain to make improvements. There’s no point in asking for feedback and inviting customers to leave reviews or write testimonials if you’re not going to take any notice. If your clients have pointed out areas that are letting you down, this is an opportunity to make changes that could not only keep them on board but also attract new customers. It’s not particularly nice to read negative comments, but bad feedback can often be even more useful than positive reviews.
Understanding the importance of a USP
When you set up a new business, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to have complete control of a market. Even established multinational corporations have to engage in a dogfight on a daily basis to secure custom. Competition is fierce out there, and to make it, you have to offer something different to your rivals. Having a USP is essential for survival. Before you design your marketing campaign, make sure you’re confident that you’ve got a brilliant USP that is going to turn heads and make your company stand out. Your marketing strategy should upsell your USP at every opportunity. There’s no point in having a groundbreaking USP if potential customers aren’t aware of it. If you’ve got a USP that you’re proud of, shout about it and ensure that every client is aware of what you can offer that other businesses can’t. Your USP should respond to problems or inconveniences, offer solutions and provide a better experience for customers, and it should be relevant to the target market. If you’re catering for young professionals, for example, providing a same-day service could be an idea. If your clients are rushing around and they need a product or service at short notice, the fact that you can provide it faster than your rivals could make all the difference. If you’ve got a project in the pipeline, and you haven’t identified a USP yet, don’t start planning your marketing strategy. Get to know your target customer, work on a USP and then move onto the planning process.
It’s incredibly difficult to make a splash in the world of business, especially as a startup. To succeed, businesses need to employ effective marketing techniques, which appeal to the target customer and sell the company and the products and services it offers in the best light. Marketing is all about spreading the word and getting your name up in lights. If it’s done well, it can catapult a business to the big time, but it’s not easy to make the right calls. Before you dive into creating a new strategy or launching a fresh campaign, lay the foundations, do your homework and gather as much information about the market and your target consumers as possible. Every post you share online or flyer you post through a door should be relevant to the buyer and your brand, and it should sell your business. Provide information, promote special offers and showcase your USP in all its glory. Analyze the performance of your campaign on a continual basis, and don’t be afraid to make changes. In business, it’s hugely beneficial to move with the times and try and stay one step ahead.