Navigating the world of marketing as a new business owner can be overwhelming. For the inexperienced, it can feel a lot like navigating a maze blindfolded. Unfortunately, this maze comes with some potentially expensive wrong turns. With all the different marketing opportunities available, there’s bound to be some trial and error, (in fact there always will be). But with a little help and some informed decision making, we can minimize error and maximize your impact on the market.
First, let’s consider your demographics:
Knowing your audience makes ALL the difference in business and every successful marketing campaign. Beginning a campaign without understanding who you are marketing to is a bit like sending a message in a bottle out to a rough sea. You’re getting your message out there, but you’re not working towards a specific goal. Someone may find it and read it, but who? Where? What will they do with it?
Understanding WHO you are speaking to and what they NEED allows us to create a message specifically tailored to address their needs. Who are your potential clients? Where are they spending their time online? What about in person? What needs are they looking to fulfill? The answers to these questions allow us to understand how to craft your brand as the answer they’re looking for in the places they’re searching.
Then, evaluate your business and where it’s at currently:
Have you heard of the SWOT analysis? Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? These are a few of the very important topics to consider when brainstorming your business’ future:
- Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others
- Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others
- Opportunities: elements that the business or project could exploit to its advantage
- Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project
These are not only VITAL for every business owner and marketing team to understand, they form the backbone of any campaign. Once our team has established an understanding of your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, a clearer picture of where your business stands versus where you want it to be, will emerge.
Set a realistic online marketing budget:
Generally, 20% of your profit should go back into generating more business, a majority of which should be focused online.
Implement an efficient marketing plan
This is where we figure out how to most efficiently communicate your message to the right audience. Specific outlets will be more appropriate for your business type, goals, products and services; each with their own list list of pros and cons. What’s right for one business could be very wrong for yours. We have to think logically and strategically about what we want to do, and how to get it done.
For example, if you find that your business’ strengths are in B2B marketing and networking, linkedin, backlinks, media mentions and direct advertising, may be most beneficial. If your business is focused on people of elderly age demographic, then some social media sites may not be as effective, (although that is rapidly changing). If you’re targeting the younger generation that tends to be constantly online, outlets like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram will be more effective in reaching your audience.
We cannot forget about the long term goals. Too often we get so focused on the quick customer, but a successful business will create sustainable marketing that will serve you for years to come by continuously building your online presentation, authority, and popularity. It is a slower process but it is highly rewarding in the long run. It’s always a good idea to look into marketing maintenance plans for your business.
Expect to have periods of testing and monitoring to see which platforms are providing the best response for you. Mapping our your efforts is crucial and can even help create a clearer path, than the path originally thought of. Your plan will often consist of a little bit of everything mentioned above. Planning your strategy in marketing is just as important and planning your strategy in general business. Without a well researched, developed strategy, your efforts are likely to be haphazard and inefficient. Working with a team of marketers and strategizers helps to discover and execute your strategy efficiently. We suggest discussing the details of your purpose, goals, strengths, weaknesses and competitors with an established marketing team to ensure that your marketing investment is well placed.
Business is an interesting world to navigate, and we’d love to help!