On your way to developing your business, marketing will prove to be your most important partner. There can be no success without visibility! Every time you speak about your business you are involved in marketing. A successful marketing strategy tells you what to say, how to say it and who to say it in order to make more sales. More importantly though, once more than one people are out there marketing the business, a marketing strategy keeps everyone on the same line of marketing, thus giving a unified image of the company.
A basic question though is “How do we get an effective marketing strategy?”. To help you out, I have prepared a list of the five dos and five don’ts of business marketing. Let’s have a look at them and see if we agree!
This seems so obvious but, really, it is easy to get into missteps, since this is the outcome of careful consideration and research. Your position in the market is defining your strategy and policies in the long-run. So, be sure that you understand the industry you belong in and your position in it and, at the same time, understand your competitors and what they do in comparison to you. What is your Competitive and Comparative advantage?
As I described in a recent blog on Market Research, do the detective work! Personally, I find it quite fun, and sometimes I listen to the “James Bond soundtracks” while investigating, but this is story for another time! Back to the serious stuff, in practice this means; searching your competitors’ websites, products, promotion techniques, social media, branding and content. By analyzing what your competitors do, you will figure out how to do it better.
Focus on the added value your brand creates and run your brand like a little business. Marketing Managers should be able to manage every aspect of the brand from pricing and appearance, to how it looks and works. However, it must be noted that, new businesses usually don’t have the funds to hire a Marketing Manager, so, unless one of the partners is that, it is good to ask for advice from a professional, in order for you to do it yourself. Furthermore, it is important for you to acknowledge what you do better than others in the market and incorporate this information in your brand materials and management. Then cultivate this perception in the minds of ideal clients. Always keep in mind that, if you put them at the very heart of everything you do (in branding), you have more chances of convincing them to buy from you.
Many businesses in the first years of their existence consume time and money to promote their services and / or products to audiences that are just not interested and therefore don’t buy. Be sure that you understand your market audience(s) and target them by sharing your targeted message. Moreover, when you are actually speaking to the right audience, promote your business in a transparent, brief and diplomatic manner. Overselling and presenting too much information which confuses them will ultimately make them walk away from your business and look to your competition to buy. Additionally, listening to their needs will help you fit your products and / or services to their expectations!
Be sure to start with the endgame at sight. Prepare a marketing plan and adjust it yearly with news goals of achievement. This will assist you in knowing your marketing targets and being able to measure them. Therefore, when you see that a marketing tool is not working, due to its low outreach, you can then re-evaluate its use and find other, more efficient, tools to replace it.
Small tip: Do all the above with consistency!
Now, this is something everyone says! I know! However, outside-of-the-box thinking works for everything in a business, and is actually a “must”. So, when it comes to promoting and marketing your business, don’t just follow the standard rules of advertising. Think of new methods and search new tools. Then calculate risks and invest in developing your business promotion. Also, always remember to get expert advice. Marketers have insights, tools and answers you won’t even imagine. And guess what? They work!
Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve done the obsessing myself. Fun fact is that it didn’t get me anywhere and it just wasted my time! What I’m trying to say is that you have to keep a steady eye on the competitors in order to know where you are at in the market and whether you need to advance your methods and strategy of promotion. However, you must not deviate from your trail, based on what your competition does. As very correctly Setth Godin once said ‘The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.’ Therefore, find your own special marketing way and then adapt to the market needs and expectations.
In the last years it has been noticed that new businesses prefer, and think that it is better to advertise in social media, thus forgetting the power of traditional means of marketing and promotion (TV, Radio, Letters). If you want to thrive and be trusted in today’s market place, the best is to utilize all means and tools of marketing, both – traditional and new ones. This will uptake the outreach to a bigger audience. Be clear and select wisely.
There is a big difference in producing content and producing engaging content. Creating a blog post for example, in 20 minutes and post it to your blog twice a week isn’t going to do the work for you. You have to find time to develop engaging content that will make your customers communicate with you, through email, phone, blog posting comments, social media comments etc. Always remember that content is part of your identity, whether this is your website, blog or emails!
The person responsible for marketing requires certain skills, with the number one being, writing skills. Let’s face it, not everyone knows how to write. In fact, talented writers are few and most of them already employed. If you miss the One – talented, think of the option to cooperate with top copywriters who can create enjoyable and engaging content. However, don’t be disappointed! Writing can be learnt and if you are still unsure, there are people who can edit your texts.
Now, ask yourself what you do and what you don’t do. Then adjust your marketing strategy and leave us your comments below!!