|Who is this for?||Businesses new to all out marketing campaigns|
|What is it About?||Where to start with marketing – Marketing tips|
|Reading Time||Less than 1000 words – 4 Minutes|
Anyone who has tried to drop a few pounds, eat healthier and get fitter, know the results are often not what was hoped for – but not for everyone. A lot depends on where you’re starting from.
There’s a big difference between:
A lifelong athlete suffering a minor injury, illness or boozy holiday getting back into training. And:
Someone who has spent decades sitting still to socialise, work and travel – overcoming that sedentary lifestyle to reinvent themselves.
It’s the same with marketing your business.
If you started your enterprise in a whirl of activity, telling everyone you knew to tell everyone they knew – and carried on doing that – making half your life a promotion, then you can probably afford to lay off for a month, while you are busy earning from work in hand.
Getting back into advertising your wares shouldn’t be that difficult, there may still be some opportunities from your previous hard work.
On the other hand if you have never thrown heart and soul into marketing your company, preferring to invest in equipment and paying wages, getting by with just enough direct customers, or subcontracting for businesses who do market their services – then pushing yourself out there is going to be hard.
Without listing all the circumstances where businesses find themselves in this position – or why they might want to grow – let’s go straight to what most will do about it.
If you were overweight and I could offer you a pill that I promise will drop you down 2 stone in 24 hours – would you take it? That miracle machine that will trim your waist, make you stronger and give you six pack with only 9 minutes effort per day – before folding neatly away (beneath the equally plausible magic carpet that comes in the box) would you sign up for three easy payments of £49.99?
Ridiculous right? But we all know people with a garage full of fitness equipment that they bought only to end up using as handy clothes hangers – or a year’s gym membership in January that they didn’t use from February to December (not you or I obviously).
Likewise small, and not so small businesses, too busy chasing their tails to get a real plan together, sign up every day without thinking, for online advertising and SEO packages.
They’ll have someone build them a website, they’ll “sponsor” something, allow themselves to be listed in a directory, bang an ad on a wall planner…
Some of these ineffective methods of raising awareness are simply goodwill, charitable even – you wouldn’t expect to see a return.
Others might be useful, if done as part of a larger plan, but without a larger plan they can seriously dent your wallet with no appreciable return.
Regardless of what your mate may say down the pub, or amazing anecdotes about how one ad has provided more work than someone can handle, as it ever worked for you?
Despite luck and a following wind – in the real world there are NO silver bullets, no magic wands and no overnight influx of work you didn’t already know about.
No single channel is going to do it for you.
Getting fit from a low base only means fighting yourself…. Marketing a business from scratch is harder, because without a lot of paid for research and a realistic budget going forward you can rarely guarantee anything.
Step One – realistically evaluate where you are now, what you are capable of offering and what capacity you have to provide the service or product without letting anyone down (better to under promise and over deliver).
Step Two – have a clear vision of where you want to go and what you want to achieve.
Step Three – revisit that offering to see if it can ultimately give what you want to achieve.
Step Four – evaluate if your offering has advantages your potential customers will be interested in through definite differences from the competition or if not, through simple preference.
Step Five – GET A PLAN – this will include a number of channels, a mix of media and an acceptance that until you try something you’ll never know what works for you – it is only by comparing, contrasting and adjusting you will ever have enough data to make sensible decisions on your future marketing spend.
Step Six – Get stuck in, try to understand what professional, honest brokers are telling you – don’t just tell them to get on with it. The more you understand the less chance there is of misunderstandings, bad feeling and wasted money later.
Note: You will need to talk to us no later than Step Four at the latest but don’t be afraid to call us in at Step One – it costs nothing to talk!
In large successful companies they know all this – they’ve been there and done it, usually years before the people who work for them now were born. Which is why they can afford marketing admin, marketing managers and marketing directors. They have the data and experience to make those spending decisions.
It is why using external design companies to create and protect their brands is never questioned – the determination to constantly build new advertising and marketing campaigns to retain their customers and penetrate their chosen markets is a major element of their business models – design is integrated through every aspect of their companies and budgets are set to make sure they don’t fall behind the spend of their competitors.
But they all started somewhere.
You CAN be both small and mighty.
Talk to us about Baby Steps – getting a plan together and where to start.