If you own a business and nobody knows about it, what good is running it?
Marketing, in its basic meaning is a method of getting people to know about your products and services or business. Marketing is very vital to your business growth and success.
Well, marketing is not all that your business requires for growth and success; it also plays a major role of your business’ visibility and profitability. With this truth not withstanding, there are enormous benefits of marketing your business.
a. Communicates your products and services to customers
b. Improves your brand awareness
c. Creates and increases your brand visibility
d. Positions your business in your industry and competition
e. Builds business and customers engagement; which creates loyalty and trust.
f. Creates credibility and
g. Boost profitability
Just as a good marketing can project your business in the best ways possible, there is also the kind of marketing that can turn your business from sweet success to sour. – Bad marketing. Yes, there is such thing as a bad marketing.
Marketing can go bad; especially with a new or small business. The reason is, many startup businesses do not invest the needed attention and a little pain into marketing their businesses efficiently. To know what type of marketing is right for your business, there are a few things to keep in mind;
a. Business model
b. Product and services
c. Plan and strategy
d. Niche, among others.
Generating leads can be challenging for startups and small businesses. Startups have wide targets and market. They assume they can serve a larger prospects since it’s their startup first years, so they can fit into serving the mass. As an entrepreneur, it is okay to anticipate a bigger market and have the desire to sell to everyone.
The truth is that, not everyone will like your business services or products. And regardless how wide you spread your business wings, someone will certainly not be impressed or need your services or Products.
Because startups do not have that much money to spend on marketing, reaching the right targets, supplying the right niche or market and engaging with the right prospects; startups must know what marketing campaigns and strategies would work for their businesses, and learn from their failures.
Below are some few outlined points on how to get started with a killer marketing campaign for your small business
1. PURPOSE – WHY DO YOU NEED TO SELL IT ?
First, know why it must or should be done. The reason for every business activities is important. To avoid being all over the place and do everything without a purpose will be a total waste of time and money and in the end, disastrous.
What is the aim to market your business services or products? When the aim of the campaign is defined, it is easier to pursue it to success. So first identify the need and aim for your marketing campaign.
2. DEVELOP A PLAN – THE FOOLPROOF
Strategic planning is everything to your business. Don’t just follow the flow or take steps and decisions when things are unfolding. Running a business is a gambling risk, but the only way to be successful, is to have a plan; an excellent plan.
To develop your marketing plan, Set your plan of action. It doesn’t have to be written professionally or as detailed as a business plan. It can be brief to the point, outlining your tactics, what you’ll sell, who will want to buy and how it must generate leads. The winning plan must focus on generating massive leads and keeping customers . The plan must also include the marketing tools/ mix to use to reach your targets and achieve sales goals.
3. SET TARGET – WHOM ARE YOU SELLING TO; WHO WOULD WANT TO BUY?
Target is crucial to your campaign. Define the set of people or prospects who you can sell your services or products to, and will be willing to buy it. Your business must be relevant to your target prospects and customers. It must resonate with their needs and problems. Every customer has a unique want or problems. Customers have different preferences and tastes.
To define the right target for your business services and products, you first need to identify the unique target that has a higher need for them or cut out for the services and products you have developed to sell.
Defining a target for your marketing campaign will save you time, costs, and unnecessary prospect coverage.
4. OBJECTIVES / GOALS – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE?
Your marketing campaign won’t be successful without objectives.
What do you want to achieve with the campaign?
Why is it important to your business?
What are the specific expectations?
All these must be projected in order to know where to start, when to start and how to go follow it through to the last prospect.
For example, what percentage of increase in sales of your products or services per month or quarterly do you want to hit? What is the target income projections or what is the percent increase in customers base do you want to achieve?
These goals and objectives must be measurable so you know when they have been achieved or failed.
They must be SMART objectives – Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.
5. CONTENT – YOUR STORY
Marketing is telling a story. It is not always about selling; but to sell, you must create communication which is content. Content is powerful. Your content should cut across all levels of your prospects receptiveness.
Some prospects, will need visuals to process what story you are telling or what you are selling. Others would only need to hear it and as well as feeling it. Your content must appeal to all the senses of your target prospects and levels of understanding.
Create a communicative contents that is appealing and memorable. Designs should easily reflect what you are selling and color friendly.
Creating excellent contents, can be a lot of baggage. In the process, you need to keep in mind the various projected personalities of your target prospects. For example; their age, level of understanding (education), culture and beliefs, limitations (blindness, deafness, color blindness, emotions, language, etc), geographic, among many others. Your content is what would compel your prospect to choose you over your competitors and it is what will convince them that your are the best. Hence, your contents have to be basic, direct, straight to the point, specific, short, engaging, effective and rememberable.
6. STRATEGY/APPROACH – TACTICS; HOW YOU WILL GO ABOUT IT
As much as every other steps of your marketing campaign is important, this is the most important of it all. It is how you would execute the plans and strategies.
What tactics would you use to reach these prospects and to accomplish your goals?
This is where it all happens. The approach must target your prospects at all stages of your marketing/sales cycle.
Outline your primary marketing strategies and match it with approaches or tactics to use to reach prospects.
Then Identify your ideal marketing mix. Every products and services sells in a different way. Whether it is outdoor, online, print, audio visuals, etc; you would need to find out which medium your target turns to for information, for the type of services and products you want to sell, as well as your campaign design. What will your strategy or tactics be?
7. ENGAGE – CREATE A RELATIONSHIP WITH TARGET AUDIENCE
Customer relationship in this age has become a must and and an added advantage to reach out to your prospects on any levels of engagement. What ever media used as a means of communication tool, it is mandatory to create a level of engagement with your target prospects. Ideally, it must be approachable, reachable and receptive.
Some customers and experts have raised brows on the needs for customer services and relationship because, some businesses have failed or are failing at bonding with their customers and seeking their interests.
Simply engage with your prospects. Find out how your business services or products are meeting their needs and solving their actual problems. Ask them questions and provide the answers. Customers are supposed to create more customers for you. It is a cycle. How you treat your direct customers and prospects would determine if they would create additional customers for your business. Engagement will also lead to customer loyalty.
8. BUDGET – HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING AND HAVE TO SPEND?
The determinate of your campaign success; not entirely but definitely the force that would make your marketing plans materialize. Money is a huge challenge for many startups and small businesses but, to run a successful business and impact growth, you need to devote some percentage of your projected gross income or sales towards your marketing budget and activities.
Marketing is an essential aspect of your business success and must be invested into.
With so many affordable media/medium options available, reaching every potential prospects or niche, with a minimum budget should bring some good results. You do not need to break the bank to carry out a successful marketing campaign.
Clues to consider;
a. Never exceed your budgets
b. Adjust budget frequently within financial power
c. Use affordable and accessible media
d. Never stop marketing
9. CONSISTENCY – HOW OFTEN WILL YOU BE SELLING?
Consistency is key to marketing and to your prospects. It keeps your business fresh in the minds of your customers and prospects.
It makes your business relevant and grooms your existence.
New businesses sprout everyday and already existing markets are very competitive. To stay on top of your game, you must be consistent.
Marketing is a process that never ends. Consistency, also implies, meeting demand and supply when high. It also means staying in business.