Marketing Your Business: What You Need to Know
October 11, 2012 Leave a comment
No matter how good your business idea is, it won’t succeed if nobody knows that your company exists. You don’t need a million dollar marketing budget to succeed, though. All you need to do is get the word out to the right people, and make enough noise to get noticed. Below are some tips that you can use to make the most out of your marketing campaign, whether it’s large or small.
Focused Efforts are Best for a Small Business
Big companies can afford to sponsor motorsport events, football teams, and other major ventures, in the hopes that they’ll capture a few customers out of the millions of people watching the event, but that’s a pretty wasteful way of advertising.
Small business owners need to be more focused when they put together their marketing strategies. Instead of trying to reach millions of people, where only a small percentage of those people will have any interest in their products, it’s better to figure out your target market, and focus exclusively on that market.
This has been made much easier with the advent of promoted posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter. In the case of Facebook, you can now target your advertisements to a “custom audience” based on criteria like age, location, interests, etc. You can also promote your posts so that they reach a larger number of your following. You can also promote your tweets for the same reason. Because these people are already following your business on a social network, you know that they are interested in your business, products, and/or services, so this is a great place to start.
The value of quality market research should not be underestimated. You can learn a lot from third party business reports, government statistics, and white-papers published by others in your field, but research that you do yourself (or pay someone else to do for you) will always be more valuable, because it is based around your specific business.
If you decide to try your hand at researching for yourself, don’t limit your test group to people in your immediate circle of friends and family. They’re likely to offer positive feedback even if they don’t like your product, because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Survey strangers – they have no reason to hide their true feelings, so you’ll get a better idea of what people really think. Be sure to conduct your surveys in such a way that they provide an accurate yet scaled-down version of your customer base.
Build a Consistent Marketing Message
Once you have figured out where you want to position your product, you will need to start working on your marketing message. This should be completely thought-out and you should know exactly what your message is; after all, if you don’t know it, how can you explain it to your audience? Consistency is important here. If you want to reach two different demographics (perhaps serious athletes, and soccer moms, or rich businessmen, and poor students), don’t market the same product to both groups with different messages – you’ll risk alienating both groups if you do that.
If you want to reach more than one demographic, launch a product for each demographic, and be clear about how those products are positioned. Package them differently, price them differently, and market them so that it’s completely clear who each product is aimed at.
The way you deliver your marketing message matters a lot more than you might think. Business SMS (short message service – aka text messaging) marketing works well for reaching students, young people, and businessmen, but probably wouldn’t be a good way to reach older people that prefer to rely on their landline over a smartphone. Direct mail marketing still works for some products and some demographics (especially for local tradespeople), and email marketing can work well for some products too.
If you do decide to try telephone marketing or business SMS, it’s worth experimenting with the timing of your messages. Ideally, you want to catch people at a time of day when they’re likely to read the message and have the time and opportunity to act on it. This means that it’s not worth sending a message first thing in the morning, or late at night.
When you’re ready to begin marketing your business, it is important that you explore all possible channels and every angle before you actually begin your campaign. By having all of the details sorted out before hand, you give yourself the advantage of knowing exactly what you are doing and where you are going. Without having a clear course of action when you begin marketing, you run the risk of wasting money, energy, and time, and losing customers.
What marketing techniques do you use in your business? Do you have any advice for new business owners getting ready to market their business for the first time? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section!
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of digital marketing experts Collstream who can provide business SMS services to suit all kinds of marketing campaign. Follow this link for more info.