In a world filled with more marketing choices than ever before, committing to marketing and a tstrategic approach can be overwhelming. If you want to know how to market a business you need to be on top of the basics. The goal is to give you some manageable baby steps you can take toward implementing a successful strategy.
Where to Start
If you think I am going to say, there is no single recommendation for every business; you are wrong. The starting point must always be the same.
Whether you are a well established or new business, no matter the size of the business, the product or service you offer or the size of the market in which you operate – you must start with the foundations of good marketing. Like a building, you must correctly set the footings or your ability to come out of the ground will be limited and at risk of toppling over.
No marketing campaign will be as successful as it could be if you don’t do the necessary work on your brand. Here is a list of some of those essential elements which you need to write down and review annually.
- What is the problem your business is trying to solve?
- Who is your target audience?
- Develop a persona for each audience type
- Confirm a 10 and 30-second pitch
- Review your vision, mission and values statements
Still not Convinced?
The problem most businesses face is they want to grow, but all they know is what they have been doing. They remain stuck in a mindset of: “they have made it this far on their intuition and connections, and don’t feel the need to review and want to move forward.”Not know how to market a business is one of the main reasons many companies fail. Essentially they are not in tune with their audience. They are not keeping up-to-date with the changes in technology and behaviour of their potential clients. Here is a perfect example. A couple of years ago, Frozen Yoghurt shops appeared everywhere. Now there are hardly any. The concept was not new, but it became a fad. The businesses behind them failed to listen to the changing desires of their customers as they became more familiar with the product. There were mixed messages about the health value. They became reliant on more of a self-service model and people having to make choices of ingredients to add. At the same time, ice cream chains like Gelatissimo have remained viable businesses. Why? Yes, you can have toppings, but the focus is on the flavours they test and recommend. They offer more service and draw you in with the design of the outlet.In simple terms, they know their audience and what they want; a family experience which will make you smile. They based all their marketing on this knowledge.The basics of how you communicate with your audience are the start of the engagement. People, trends and communities change, so you always need to be prepared to review.
How Do You Check and Measure Your Marketing Foundations?
We have developed a test to check the authenticity and overall status of your brand and marketing. Based on my framework for successful communications it gives you measurable results to compare year to year, along with clear recommendations on the next steps to take.
Let’s Get to Your Next Baby Steps
What you want to know is, once you have the foundation work in check, what do you do next?
Marketing is about building an emotional bond with your target audience. You want to put yourself in front of as many people in that audience as possible.
Step 1:Determine the leading platform to communicate with them effectively. (check out this article on the benefits of social media)
Step 2:Test the market by committing for a short but reasonable trial period.
Step 3:Decide if this about brand awareness or direct selling.
Step 4:Develop a series of test messages, including graphics.
Step 5:Determine How You Will Measure Success
Remember a trial is a limited sample and does not allow for any momentum gained over time through consistently feeding it material. When you consider a benchmark for success, dig deep online to see what to expect. Many marketing campaigns deliver responses from less than 1%, so don’t set your expectations too high. In fact, you should look at most marketing as raising brand awareness rather than having an immediate direct correlation with sales.Let’s Cut to the Real
If you want the real answer as to how to market a business successfully; the most honest advice I can give when it comes to marketing is, thinking you can do it all yourself is a mistake. There are so many specialised skills, which come under the brand and marketing umbrella. The best baby step you can make is to seek out an expert who will guide you along, at a pace you and your audience are prepared to travel.
Check on the health of your brand every year and it will reveal the right path for your business.