Why marketing isn’t what you might think it is.

So you’re an owner of a business and you want to know how to ‘do marketing’. You look at the other businesses in your industry and what they’re doing and you think, ‘I can do that too’.

Unfortunately when you start your business, it usually doesn’t come with a business owners marketing guide.

You might be thinking – business owners marketing guide / schmide, surely it’s not that difficult; all you need to to is make a couple of brochures here, send out a few emails there, set up a website and then you’re on your way right?

Ummmm, no. It’s starting from the wrong place. And it’s why a business owners marketing guide might help.

The days of ‘build it and they will come’ are long gone. A lot of your competition haven’t realised this yet and as such their marketing, whilst it might look pretty, isn’t hitting the targets it needs to (because they’ve started in the wrong place too).

So, if you follow your competitors, then chances are, your marketing won’t hit the right mark either and there’s always the possibility that your ideal target might also be different from your competition’s too.

That’s why we created the following business owners marketing guide.

Marketing is really about hitting the right target of your ideal customer, the right way as many times as they need (hint: it’s more than you think it will be) in order to build a relationship that gets them comfortable enough to purchase.

Once you’ve got your target market identified (i.e you’ve got a detailed ‘buyer persona’ outlined), you need a marketing plan.

Now if you’ve been working in your chosen area for a while, you’re probably across the finer details of your industry. But even so, it pays to do your market research – to scope out what’s going on in the background of your industry, what’s headed your customers’ way, what substitutes for your product or service might be on the radar.

You need to know what your customers buy, how they do it – but more importantly why they buy and what you can add to the mix that’s important – TO THEM not you. Your customers really aren’t interested in what’s important to you.

If you’ve been trading for a while, you might even consider going out to your customers via customer survey and asking them why they buy from you.

Then you need to develop a proposition around that. Everything you do from this moment forward will stem from how you position your product in the customer’s mind. This is where logos, taglines, calls to action come from. It will also flavour the tone of the content on your website and throughout all your other marketing materials. The key is it must all be consistent.

Then you need to set your marketing goals.

  • What are you as the business owner looking to get from your business in revenue terms, gross and net profit terms?
  • Then you break that down into revenue across product/service streams.
  • Work out how much your average sale will be
  • And how many customers it will take to achieve those numbers.

Only then can you think about the tactical marketing materials like brochures, websites, emails and sales conversations. But, before you go there, you need to consider the following questions;

  • How are you going to reach out to your customers
  • What are you going to say
  • What’s in it for them (ie: why should they read, meet, buy or do whatever you’re expecting)?
  • How often do you plan to keep in touch
  • How will you role out those touch points
  • How are your touchpoints linked
  • What’s the next step from any one of those touchpoints?

And then, yes, there’s more, you need an marketing activity plan to ensure those things happen on a frequent and routine basis. Some of the tactics you might consider;

  • Email campaigns (followed up by warm phone calls)
  • Campaign landing pages
  • Advertising (online or off – both can still be relevant depending on your customers)
  • Sales promotions & giveaways
  • Social media (although it’s more an awareness building avenue and very few brands use social well enough to really drive revenue)
  • Blogging (to prove your smarts)
  • Open days
  • Sponsorships
  • Competitions
  • Speaker circuits
  • Networking
  • Partnership/Ambassador/JV programs
  • Host-Beneficiary programs
  • Public and media relations (for building awareness, market credibility or lead generation)
  • Grass-roots awareness campaigns

And a whole host of other tactics.

One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is that they do all this great stuff and then wait for the customers to come to them. And sometimes they do, but most times it’s not enough.

What you’re wanting is to be top of your customers’ minds when they’re ready to buy. The only way to do that is to stay in regular contact, tapping things along, so that you’re the first name they think of when they’re good to go. And the only way that can happen is to have routine marketing rollout. And if you don’t have time to make sure this happens, it’s best outsourced to an agency who get marketing isn’t about the stuff.

Almost no marketing plan will ever completely roll out the way that you thought it would initially. Markets change, customer desires change and businesses change direction. But once you’ve got a plan you can tweak it as you go along to make sure it remains relevant to you and your customers.

So don’t think of a marketing plan as a hassle. Think of it as an opportunity for growth. I hope our business owners marketing guide helped.

If you’re confused/overwhelmed about exactly what you need to do to create an effective marketing plan or you want a plan that delivers results give us a call on 0415 547 529. Or if you’re interested in the full DYI business owners marketing guide workbookdrop us a note here.

 

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