No matter if you are reading a marketing blog, listening to a speaker about running a business or attending an event for entrepreneurs, it is almost guaranteed that you will encounter enough marketing jargon to make your head swirl.
So this week, we are going back to basics and have a look what marketing and its many facets actually mean and how you can use them for your small business.
Marketing is about building relationships with your audience to find out and create what they want and need. It also includes everything you do to get potential buyers to know, like and trust you in order to create sales, repeat business as well as referrals so that your company operates at a profit.
Your strategy is the backbone of your marketing if not of your whole business. It defines your reason for existence, your ideal customer and what you want to achieve. Establishing your strategy is like giving yourself a compass to guide you through your day-to-day business as well as your marketing. More about creating your marketing strategy.
After deciding on your strategy it is time to think about how you are going to implement it. Your marketing plan is all about the tactics you are going to use to attract your ideal customers, make them come back and happily refer you to their friends, colleagues and family members. If your strategy is your compass, your marketing plan is your roadmap. Read on about how to establish your marketing plan in 5 steps.
Your brand is all about how you want to present your company in order to appeal to your ideal customer. And that includes a lot more than a logo, fonts and a colour scheme. It is who you are, what you stand for and what kind of values you want to represent. Think about what kind of people you want to do business with and what beliefs you share with them. This will help you gain their trust and loyalty and ultimately their business.
In order to attract new customers you have to be visible in your market. A unique selling proposition (or USP) helps you do exactly that and even more, it helps you stand out and set yourself apart from your competition. It is closely linked with your brand and your values and helps you carve out a niche for yourself and your business. Read more about how a USP can help you bring everything into focus.
Marketing offers a whole range of ways to promote your small business: Advertising is one option, event marketing or social media marketing another. These so-called marketing channels are your access to get your message out there and promote your products or services. More importantly, they include everything you do to attract new business and to retain it, so count your customer service among it as well. Have a look at affordable marketing channels for small businesses.
In order to achieve the goals you have set in your strategy while being on budget you have to monitor and control your marketing activities. It helps you keep an eye on costs and success of your marketing campaigns and is a great way to see what works and what doesn’t for your future planning. To find out more about monitoring and how to set yours up click here.
While you should always keep in mind that marketing means spending money now to attract new clients for the future (and hence very rarely pays for itself in the short term) it is sometimes good to have a look at your ‘return on investment’ (or ROI). It means calculating if your marketing campaigns were profitable or not. Let’s say for example you spent £100 on a campaign that sold 10 products for £10 each with a profit margin of 25%. Depending if you are focussing on your turnover or profit, you have an ROI of 0 or -0.75.
Call To Action
Last but not least, there is a thing called CTA (or call to action). It is basically a copywriting term that is based on the psychological principle that telling people what you want them to do will make it more likely for them to actually do it. So always include a ‘click here’ or ‘book now’ in your marketing communications and make it as easy for them to do so as possible.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Spot the Difference – Essential Definitions for your Small Business
7 Marketing Checks for Your Small Business
The Ultimate Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses
How to Tackle the Biggest Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses