Whether the idea of Marketing makes you feel excited or exhausted, there’s no debating it’s necessary to running a successful business. One of the biggest mistakes new businesses, or businesses that are endangered make, is cutting their marketing efforts. How can customers buy from you if they’re not engaging with you? And building customer engagement is what marketing is all about. However, you must also understand what makes your business unique, the solution you provide and the people for whom you provide it. So, let’s focus a bit on that.
If you’re a business that’s been around for a while, that hasn’t had to do a lot of marketing, you may have done nicely by relying on your sales team. As long as you’re diligent about following up with those customers to make sure they’re happy, and doing all you can to ensure they’re repeat customers over time, you can build a great base. Depending on your business, it’s to your advantage to begin planting the next crop of future customers so you always have some part of customer acquisition in the harvest stage. When marketing and sales work together, you give your business the opportunity to really thrive.
Pinpointing and Building Brand Consistency
What solution do you provide and how do you provide it better than anyone else? And how can you make that memorable? When you’re thinking of how you want to market, and what makes you different, it’s useful to look at other businesses and how they’re identifying their brands. What makes their brand identity memorable to you? Is it consistent colors? Imagery? The tone of their copy? Is it the regularity of their value or the frequency of the coupons they send? Are they perceived as more “budget” or “luxury”?
When you think of major brands, you can probably come up with a few adjectives that describe what those businesses deliver, as opposed to what they actually “sell.” Chuck E. Cheese may be perceived as active, whimsical, and accessible to the working parent. American Girl dolls are educational, empowering, intellectual, demure. Footlocker is sporty, cutting edge yet also classic, urban. On paper though, Chuck E. Cheese sells pizza and video games, American Girl sells plastic dolls, and Footlocker sells shoes. How did they create those perceptions?
Think about your “true” value proposition. There is an important difference between what you sell and what you deliver. What problem are you solving, and for whom? Thinking this way helps you to message optimally, and also identify all of your market segments, picking the best ones first.
Make Sure You Always Have A Strategy in Place
It’s easy to become complacent, and distracted by the day-to-day operations. But, a marketing strategy is just as important. Whether business is slow or swift, treat your marketing strategy like you would any other component of your business plan. It is essential. Check in frequently to make sure your strategy is being implemented, and that your team feels a sense of ownership.
Stay Up to Date
Marketing shouldn’t feel like a chore, and because the idea is to create something customers notice, there’s always something new to explore. Take a look at our past blogs. We’ve talked about some interesting new trends such as agile marketing, employee social media advocacy, disruptive marketing, and of course, direct mail marketing. Think about the questions raised above, and which of these marketing techniques might best touch your target market segment, and get started!
Here’s to your business thriving in new ways in 2019!