The worst kind of marketing
The absolute worst kind of marketing that you can do is what I have termed “Keeping up with the Jones”. This is where you find out what everyone else is doing marketing-wise, normally your competition, and replicate it in terms of channels, campaigns and content. Also dangerous are the business consultants and coaches who say those immortal words “you know what you need to do”, without taking the time to do their homework into your business, market and industry.
This is not the way to do marketing. Every company and every product or service is unique and as such you have a duty of care to take the time to understand what works for you, rather than copying the efforts of others.
Sound knowledge is essential - do your research
Essential, effective marketing is underpinned by sound knowledge of your market place. Only by knowing exactly what your customers want can you hope to satisfy (or better still delight) them – and possibly even persuade them away from your competitors.
Carrying out market research doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Finding the answer to the most basic facts is essential and sometimes a simple conversation with potential customers can be highly revealing. Find out what they think about your products/services and prices, and whether any of their needs are not currently being served. You can also ask them what they think of your brand, your messaging and of course you as a business.
But marketing research isn’t just about your market; you also need to find out about your competition. Start by carrying out online search to find out who you are up against, what they offer and how.
Find your target market
Good market research can enable you to find your target market. This is important as you do have the time or the money to appeal to everyone. You need to focus on the needs of specific groups of people (segments) where their needs are not being served or you have the evidence to back up your belief that you can offer them something better than their current providers.
Ongoing marketing success is all about those famous 4 P’s – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. And getting the right combination is key. Alongside this you will also need some strong messages and a unique selling proposition (USP) that is convincing (and honest) enough to sway customers to buy from you and not another supplier.
The importance of having a plan
Once you know who you are targeting, when, why and can confirm what benefits you can provide, you are ready to put together a marketing plan. This plan needs to be comprehensive and designed to meet your marketing strategy and any business goals.
Remember, marketing is not a one-off activity. To reap the long-term rewards you need to do it regularly and consistently. But most of all you need to monitor and review the results and make tweaks accordingly. And finally, because marketing is also organic, you need to be a marketing chameleon and change it quickly when required to do so.
For marketing that is tailored to meet your businesses individual needs and requirements get in touch.