Marketing - Back to Basics with four simple steps

by Naz Khaliq | share | tweet | connect
Marketing is more than just advertising. Marketing is looking at the overall circumstances that lend themselves to developing your business. It is how you can make people come to you and want your product or service; it's about how you can make your phone ring. To do this you need to think about your product/ service, the price, your business geography, how you are going to promote it, the people that you have in your team, and the process or experience in dealing with your business.
1. Perfect your Marketing Plan first
The marketing plan is a simple but really useful tool to help you understand about all parts of your marketing and make sure it is working for you. A marketing plan is not an advertising plan. It is a plan that focuses on all the points you need to look at over the timeframe that you set, such as six months or a year or two years. Within the marketing plan you can set sub plans for each campaign or idea that you come up with. The plan or sub plans need to have clear measurements of success, and a way to cease activity if it does not work.
Once you have an idea, the next step is putting your plan into action. Think carefully what is best for your business and talk to friends, colleagues, team members and peers. Whatever strategy you choose to use, embrace it and believe in it and fully support it. If you don't, then it will not work.
2. Build a budget for marketing
Most people don't think about setting a marketing budget. They seem to try things if they think they can afford it, or wait until an 'unmissable' offer comes up and do it. However, we would advocate the building up of a marketing budget - regardless of the size of your business. Allocate a percentage or a fixed amount of money that is going to be used on marketing. Then, don't spend over it and don't spend under it - spend it on properly planned out marketing. Social media marketing may be free, but there are times when paid advertising has good or better results. Marketing is a balance of lots of different things. Marketing is vital to your business success so don't skimp - be measured and sensible.
As your business grows, grow your budget. No matter how successful your business is you must always continue to market. Just look at McDonalds, KFC, you know their successful but you still see all their advertising and marketing everywhere.
3. Learn to Listen
Successful marketing begins with listening. Look at your industry or profession, what are the common problems or complaints. Look at your own business, in the past what feedback have you had. If you listen to these points both positive and negative, then these form the basis of the points that you want to shout about to your potential customers. The positive ones get highlighted, and you prove to potential customers that you don't do the negative ones - you turn them round and turn the opposites of the negatives into positives of your business.
When you analyse that and start using it to your advantage, you have the best opportunity to reach out with your marketing. Always listen to find out to new businesses in the area that your product or service can >help.
4. Great customer experience
The quality of the customer experience and the customer service you offer can make or break your business. Poor service will leave your clients with a bad taste in their mouth. If this happens, they will tell other people - why - not to be malicious - but because they don't want other people to make the same mistake they did.
If there are other businesses doing the same as you with better customer experience, then you need to be wary. Even if they are more expensive, your customers and potential customers may well start to believe they are worth the extra cost.
Set out to give the very best experience to the customer at every possible opportunity. If you do this business will come to you.
Talk to us