I get asked “How would you market my business” a lot. But then I always answer, “How long is a piece of string”. It is difficult to know how to market someone’s business as every business is so different and unique. They all have their own challenges, aims, products and services, that no one way of marketing would be right for two different businesses.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a failsafe step by step guide that literally told you what to do! There are lots of brilliant marketing books out there, which can give advice and guidance, but until you get under the skin of a business is very hard to know what it needs to be done.
Here are a few things you need to know to be able to help you determine that next step in how you can market your business.
Create a strategy
Most businesses I know are very reactive when it comes to marketing. An opportunity arises and they jump on it (usually print advertising) without giving it a thought of why they are doing it and what will it achieve. So thinking about where you are now, where you want to be and steps you are going to take to get there can really help.
Set your Aims
You also need to be clear on what you want to achieve, and this can be very different for businesses too. You should know what you want to accomplish in business i.e selling more products, increasing turnover or revenue, developing new initiatives etc. However, have you thought about what you want to succeed in with your marketing? Do you want to improve your website, grow your following online, start an online shop or specific things like selling tickets for an event, growing your email list to X number of subscribers.
Understand your customer
It is really hard to know how to market a business if you don’t have an understanding of their customer. Many people say to me “everyone is my customer”, but people are so unique that the same marketing messages won’t work for everyone. The way you market a product to a man or a woman will be different. The way you marketing to someone in their twenties will be very different to how you’d market to someone in their seventies. Yes, your product or service may have a broad appeal, but really dig down and think who the different groups of people are – and there may be a few. If you can create 1 or 2 specific types of customer you can be laser focused on what you should be saying to them and your marketing will be so much more effective.
Create a plan and timescales
Once you have a strategy in place, you can plot out your priorities, set yourself some actions, create a plan and stick to it. Think about what you are going to do each quarter, each month, or each week. Break it down into manageable tasks and always refer to your strategy and aims to know you’re doing what you set out to achieve. You have more chance of implementing your marketing and being more effective if you have a plan.
So, when I work with clients I always start at the foundations and go right back to basics to really understand what they want to achieve with their marketing before I can even begin to know how to market a business. Tick these items off and you’re on your way to being more efficient and effective with your own marketing.