A business can succeed or fail based on the strength of the marketing, but you may be unsure as to how to go about it. Effective marketing is more than advertising and having a flashy website. There is a lot for you to consider. So, to help you navigate the world of marketing, follow the advice below.
Your target demographic
You don’t have to market your product to everybody on the high street. Just because they are living and breathing does not automatically enroll them on to your potential list of customers. So consider your target demographic. Who do you want to reach, where can you find them and what can you say to grab their attention? Careful planning before you set out a marketing strategy is essential, so try to understand your potential customer and how you can sell yourself to them.
It may be that your product is suitable for a range of people, of ages and gender. However, the way you market yourself to a senior citizen is not the same as marketing to a teenager, so you need to be flexible in your thinking, and have separate tools to appeal to the differing consumer markets.
There is no point wasting your valuable time marketing to people who aren’t going to value your product, so do your research. Speak to others in your industry and listen to their advice. Be bold and talk to people on the high street and conduct a survey to find out what the average consumer is looking for in a product. Speak to different demographics to find out who has an interest in your service, giving you an idea of your future planning.
Know your budget
You may not have the budget to market yourself on local radio and television ads, and a flashy billboard may be out of your reach. You don’t want to spend money that you don’t have or take out high-interest loans in the hope of making back your money in the future. Therefore, set aside a marketing budget and stick to it.
Should you find yourself with an overflow of money in the future, consider spending more. However, when money is tight, use what you have. For example, use social media and set up a website for free marketing. Spend a little money on business cards and flyers to get the word out to your chosen demographic. Think big but spend small if you don’t yet have the financial resources.
When marketing, there is really one goal in mind, and that is making money. Unless you are a charity with no interest in profit, you need to market yourself to bring in added revenue. So know what you are aiming for, and set targets for all areas of your business, including marketing strategy. For example, how many sales do you need to make each day to bring in profit? How many inquiries can you feasibly make in a week when sourcing clients? Give yourself a focus and set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly targets.
Knowing what you need to achieve will give you a handle on the marketing you need to do, and where you need to do it. Make a plan, and act on it. The harder work you put into your business, the higher the profit you are likely to make.
Attend industry events
You may be operating your business from the comfort of your living room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attend industry forums and conferences to market what you have to offer. By setting up a small or a large stand at a local event, you will have the opportunity to display your product and service to people who may share similar interests with you. Not only that but in meeting other professionals, you will be forming a network of people who can give you advice and possibly partner with you to take your business further.
If public speaking doesn’t give you a cold sweat, speak at these events, imparting your wisdom and knowledge to others. No matter how small your business, you have a voice and it demands to be heard. Other people may find it useful to hear what you have to say, and you will be able to market yourself to a larger number of people at the same time. Source a company to help you with your PowerPoint presentation design, giving you the ability to showcase your ideas and product effectively.
Make sure you have what you need when meeting new people. Arm yourself with your business cards, flyers, sales brochures and free giveaways, handing them out to anybody you meet. Make sure your promotional materials have your company details printed on them, such as your phone number and website address, to ensure you are easily contactable. You may work on a solo basis, but you don’t need to be on your own in the world of business, and the more positive relationships you form, the higher good word of mouth will spread.
Create a professional brand
There will be many companies like yours, so you need to stand out from the crowd and give your business a unique feel. Therefore, you need to create a brand for your company. As you will understand from your visit the local supermarket, there are many brands on the shelves, each one promising a level of quality above and beyond the others. That is what you are trying to convey to the consumer.
There are several ways to create a brand. For example, you will need a logo that people will begin to associate with you. This should be attached to your website, as well as any other promotional material you hand out. You also need a short and catchy slogan, such as the ones you hear on television with those annoying jingles. Be sure to come up with something original to avoid legal issues.
The clever use of branding will give your product the marketing push it needs, ensuring your business sticks in people’s memories.