Recently I (Natalie Montagnani) have been speaking at some business expo’s and many people have been talking to me about how they find marketing overwhelming. To be honest, I’m not surprised. With the advent of the digital age, marketing has become far more complex than before.
For SME’s marketing is now seen as a burden, a complex field that many feel is beyond their capabilities. Although you can use agencies or outsource, the question then becomes, who do you go to? And what exactly are you going to ask for?
Get a Strategy
The first and most important part of marketing is to get a strategy in place, that way you can be really clear to yourself, your team and any suppliers you use, what you need to do and when – and you can assign affordable budgets too.
Rarely do I ever meet a business that has an existing marketing plan, and yet they are investing funds (sometimes thousands of pounds) in their marketing hoping for a good return. You will never maximise your ROI unless you have a robust marketing strategy.
7 Simple Steps to Get You on Track
- Step 1 – As Paul Arden (Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi) once said “Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.” Have some clearly defined goals for your business. Then you can have these as your focus point when you’re creating your marketing plan.
- Step 2 – Know your customer – in particular what they need and want from you. Why? So you can give it to them – it’s as simple as that.
- Step 3 – Competitors – What are they up to and what can you learn from them or (ideally) do even better
- Step 4 – Brand – Do you stand out? Do you look good? If not, make some changes and please please don’t DIY any design work (unless you’re a designer), get some professional help. It’s a valuable investment.
- Step 5 – From Step 2 use your customer knowledge to identify the best ways to contact that customer, ideally as directly as possible when you’re on a budget. If you’re really on a shoestring, maybe just pick one activity and do it really well. Then once you’ve got some business in, you can invest in other activities too!
- Step 6 – Whatever marketing activities you agreed in Step 5, now break them down into individual actions and create a timely ‘to-do’ list. This tactical plan will help remove the feeling of overwhelm, as you will know exactly what you need to do and when.
- Step 7 – Measure the results of your efforts, see what’s working, what’s not working and make appropriate changes. Don’t just keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome – that’s the very definition of insanity according to Einstein!
All of the above is covered (in detail) in our forthcoming ‘Strategy for Success’ intensive, practical workshop. It’s on the Tuesday 17th July 2018 at Malmaison, Brighton Marina. The best bit? By the end of the day you will have an effective marketing strategy for your business. To find out more, visit: https://strategyforsuccess.eventbrite.com