The modern marketing menu now offers an increasingly vast array of choice. Whilst I may delight in all these new-found opportunities for the marketing profession, I’ve learnt how they can cause confusion to the small business owner, who simply wants to get their name out there.
In my first marketing role I was referred to by some colleagues (albeit affectionately) as the ‘Advertising Lady’. As a business we did very little advertising, but awareness of marketing and what it entailed was limited and whilst choice did exist there was nothing like the prolific possibilities that we have now.
With so many options available for businesses, both online and offline, there’s a risk of spreading your marketing efforts too thin and achieving very little as a result. Business owners today have so much to think about on top of doing the day job and consequently marketing can often find itself at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.
With a new financial year fast approaching you may be considering kick-starting your marketing efforts. Before you get going, these are Girarkle’s practical suggestions on things to consider before and as you select from the extensive marketing menu:
Think carefully about what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts. For example, are you looking to launch a new product or service, build brand awareness, increase sales or perhaps enhance existing client relationships? Your objectives will help determine what approach you take.
Assess your current situation – what does your brand say about your business, evaluate your current marketing efforts, look at your competitors – where are they, what are they doing – what can you do differently? What makes your business special and how can you convey that?
Consider who you are trying to reach and where you are likely to find them in. Find ways to reach your target audience rather than simply expecting them to find you. Put simply, if you’re on Facebook but your customers are now on Instagram they aren’t going to see you!
Have a plan – set yourself realistic, achievable targets that reflect both time and monetary resource available. It’s no good having an elaborate all-singing all-dancing marketing plan if you haven’t the resource to make it happen.
Allocate a budget – it’s easy to spend money reactively in dribs and drabs and before you know it you’ve invested a lot but with little to show for it. Consider your options, find out what they will cost and prioritise those that will help you achieve your goals.
Know your limits - budget isn’t everything – you can have a large budget but no time to implement it so think about what time you can practically allocate to marketing – set aside time in your diary each week to action your plan.
Once you have some clear objectives and have chosen the marketing routes you wish to adopt get actioning your plan. Don’t expect overnight miracles though! A sound plan will take time to implement and to take effect. Track the results of your activity as you go check to see what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid of trial and error – very few small business owners get everything right first time.
Of course, the list of marketing channels in the diagram above is far from exhaustive and as marketing touches on all elements of a business it’s increasingly time consuming. Whether you are spoilt for choice, have tried but have spread your efforts too thin or are stretched for time and would prefer to stick to the day job, help is at hand to get the job done so your business can reap the rewards!
If your business needs a realistic actionable marketing plan for the new financial year, Girarkle can help. If you’d like practical hands-on assistance, please give me a call or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.