It’s a bit like an organic, moving, growing thing that takes on a life of its own and is different for every one of us and our businesses. No two businesses are the same and that goes for marketing too. What I do for one client, will be completely different to another. It is based on their aims as a business and what they are striving for.
However, there are some foundational things you can put in place that will start you off on the right foot
1 – Aims
One of the best things you can do is really think about what you want to achieve in business. What are your goals, where do you see the business in the next five years?
When we have a clear vision for our business, it then allows us to think more strategically about what we need to do with our marketing. I see so many businesses who have lost sight of that vision and end up going round in circles trying lots of marketing tactics, but not seeing results. Why, because they’re not even sure why they are doing it!
Once you have clear aims you can align the tactics you are going to use to achieve those aims and voila your marketing becomes more refined, and you can see better results.
2 – Key Messages
It’s also a good exercise to identify your key messages. What are the most important things about your business that you need your potential customer to know? What makes your service or product different to everyone else, what makes it stand out, what are the Unique Selling Points (USP)? You need to be really clear on not only what you are doing marketing for, but what you are going to say.
Think about your customers pain points, or problems. These are the things that are going to resonate with them. Make a list of those too, then in all your marketing these are the things you want to be shouting about all the time – whether that is on social media, in blog posts, in press articles, on posters, or what other people are saying about you too!
3 – Write a plan
Marketing is great when it is well thought out and planned. Now I’m not saying some spontaneous marketing doesn’t work – take social media for example and we know I love stories on Instagram. However, thinking back to our aims if we’re not strategic in how we’re going to achieve those aims we’re just going to be stabbing in the dark.
So, write down your aims and how you think you can achieve them. What marketing tactics are the key things that are going to help? Now plot out when you’re going to do them.
For example, if you plan to improve your email list, engage with your audience better to generate more sales, then plan out how you’re going to generate leads, how often you’re going to write the newsletter, when you’re going to write it, when you’re going to send it out, does it coincide with occasions (like valentines day) or a sale your running.
So, create a plan of everything you’re going to do and when. Then next time someone emails you asking if you want to advertise in the local magazine you can be really strategic with your answer – does it achieve your aims or not.
Now there are other things to consider, such as target customer, budget, competitors, price for example which all link in with marketing, but if you have a clear vision, know what you want to achieve, understand what your USPs are and how you are going to implement everything you’ll have built up some strong foundations to take your marketing forward.