What’s So Tough About Getting Marketing Right?
The concept of business is very straight forward, identify a product that people need and give it to them at the right quality at the right price. For most of us it’s not that simple. In this blog I’ll run through some key reasons why and some suggestions to get your marketing getting a great return on investment.
Identifying the need
1. Clear target market
How clear are you on the customers you are targeting?
The reasons for each customer to buy from you are likely to differ, the clearer you are on grouping those together in to categories the easier it will be to get the right messages across to them. Having one message going to all markets is known as scattergun marketing and you will get some wins, laser like focus will get you far better results.
The easiest place to start is to review who buys from you at the moment and why. Those that start off showing an interest and then drop off, find out why; it maybe they aren’t your target market or you haven’t made something clear enough in your marketing.
“You can’t be everything to everyone but you can be something to someone.”
Drew Davis, Brandscaping
Less can be more, you can make far more impact in a marketplace by having a narrow range of products and services that you provide really well. Create yourself a niche and will be harder for competitors to follow you and much easier for you to stand apart.
2. Knowledge of your competitors
Are you providing anything that is genuinely different from your competitors?
When is the last time you checked out your competition, a good starting point is to look at their web site:
- What are their key benefits they are promoting?
- How active are they on social media?
- Is their sales process transparent? Are they easy to buy from?
3. How are you getting your brand and products/services in front of them?
The fancy term for this is multi-channel marketing, basically you don’t know where your prospective customers will go to start their search for the right supplier. If you are clear on your target market then this will be easier. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a crystal ball then you will need lots of strands of marketing running at any one time. These may include:
Asking clients for referrals Advertising in local brochures Emails Twitter Facebook Linked In Networking Leaflets Newsletters Letters Alliance partners Radio Giveaways Google Ads Check a trade
The list is endless, ideally you want 10% leads coming from 10 different marketing methods. Unless you have a commodity product that is used regularly you will face the challenge of timing. The person may really need your product or service but just not yet.
The Sales Journey
Before starting any marketing be clear on how your sales funnel will work, what are the stages of the sales journey they will go through.
- How will you filter out any time-wasters?
- How will you track the enquiry?
- What is your follow up timescale?
- Is your quote process efficient?
- How do you follow up the quotes?
- Is there an opportunity to upsell/down-sell/cross-sell in your sales process?
The length of your sales journey will vary depending on the nature of your business, if someone needs an emergency plumber it needs to be slick and responsive with immediate testimonials. If someone is choosing a kitchen design company they are likely to be looking at a couple of other companies so your service needs to be top of its game.
It is worth spending time considering behavioural profiling with your marketing, it may sound like mumbo jumbo but it works. I use DiSC with my clients and it is very effective. Some people are more open to change than others, they like to have the new gadget, others like a proven product and much lower levels of risk – make sure that your marketing and your sales process is in place for both types.
The communication preference will vary greatly, some prefer meeting face to face or talking, other written communication, your sales process needs flexibility within it to appeal to all.
Test and Measure
The key to successful marketing is not to rest on your laurels, have multiple marketing ideas running in a small controlled way so you can effectively track which works best for you. Whichever approaches you choose be clear who you are targeting, what the key message is and which platforms give you the best chance of getting them to see it.
A common mistake is just to be busy with marketing, for example keep tweeting or writing Facebook Posts with no strategy or intent behind it, keep emailing the same content in the same format and getting no interest.
Plan your marketing, clear layered campaigns with different marketing methods and track the outcomes.
Here is a small checklist for your marketing:
- Sales analysis review
- Competitive analysis
- Clear target markets
- Product/service benefits identified
- Marketing approaches selected for each target market
- Clear headline or offer to market
- Sales process mapped
- Support material in place – templates/scripts/enquiry sheets
- Lead sheet or CRM system to track enquiries
- Marketing calendar/schedule in place
- Marketing budget
- Performance tracker to show performance of each strategy
Your easiest sale should always be from someone who has bought from you before so don’t forget to make sure they know all the products and services you offer.
I run business skills workshops every 2 weeks, this is a low-cost programme for anyone looking to grow their business. Why not come and give it a try!
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Have a successful week