Most business owners I speak to believe they have the answer when it comes to successful marketing. In truth, a lot of the strategies I’ve heard differ.
I thought it would be interesting though to discuss some of the features that all of their strategies had in common and things I think are missing. Before I start reeling off anecdotes then it might be useful to understand that these strategies, when drilled down, come down to simple theory (which I’ll discuss) and aren’t exclusive to one industry.
- The majority of people I speak with all seemed to lack a tangible or physical strategy. Whilst it isn’t imperative that you write down your goals, objectives and strategy, mapping these ideas makes them easier to visualise and could be the regular reminder you need to keep things on track.
- Understanding the products or services you are selling and being able to appeal to your target audience are key. Train yourself on the sorts of questions you get asked about regularly and don’t focus on ‘selling’ all the time. A good salesperson is approachable and listens to the clients.
- Analyse your performance on a regular basis. I look at performance on at least a quarterly basis (often more like week on week). I look at how the company is performing now against this time last year. I consider any variables that will impact on my figures and I look at cost performance.
- Cost performance is important. There are two simple tools to analyse your performance. Look at what an individual advertising campaign is costing you and what has been directly generated from it. This is known as your return on investment (ROI). Consider that to be able to work out your ROI you need to know where work is coming from. If you get referrals it is easy to see this, but if you have two adverts running and both have a ‘call to action’ being that people should call your office number, then you should implement traceable key performance indicators, also known as a KPI. This will allow you to measure the performance of each campaign. An example will be a different discount code attached to each leaflet or advert which the customer should state when calling. This allows you to measure the performance of each individual advert.
- A common tip I offer is to understand that the term ‘Marketing’ is all-encompassing. Remember that marketing and advertising are not necessarily the same thing. Marketing encompasses advertising. It also includes branding, covers public relations and customer service and focuses on strategy and engagement. Once you get a grip of these aspects you’ll be well on your way to successful marketing.
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