Marketing your business is extremely important. It increases your company’s visibility, which ultimately drives sales and profits. It is also something that can easily be taken for granted. The truth is that a good marketing strategy does take time, resources, and money - things that not all businesses may have at their disposal- so they put it off. This may make sense for the immediate future, but it can hurt your business in the long term. How? Let us consider the advantages of a good marketing strategy:
1. Promotes your business
Yes, marketing promotes your business, but a good strategy does not just increase visibility to the general public but also your target audience. These are the people most likely to spend money on your products and services, and if you target them correctly, you could see an increase in profits.
2. Helps you understand your customers
Developing a marketing strategy means conducting market research, which forces you to pay greater attention to your customers’ habits, needs, wants, demographics, etc. It will also help you notice trends and shifts in their behaviour.
3. Helps you to brand your business
Your company is not just a business, it is a brand, and it needs to be presented to the public correctly. A good marketing strategy will help you to introduce your culture, values, and purpose to the world.
4. Enhances reputation
Through marketing business, you should be transparent, engaging, and intelligent in the tactics- all things that will positively impact your reputation. This is critical when you are looking to have the edge over your competitors.
Signs you need to revamp your marketing strategy
Many factors will determine the importance of marketing your business. Budget is always a big deal, but you also need to weigh up the pros and cons. Will investing money now help the future of your company? Are you skimping on marketing? Could you do with a bit of a boost? Here are a few signs that you may need to up your marketing strategy:
1. Business is down
Although there are many reasons why you may have noticed a decline in profits, there is a big chance it could be due to a lack of marketing or a subpar marketing strategy.
2. Your website is not performing
You may have noticed that your website is not generating as much traffic as you hoped it would. This could mean you are no longer visible online, which is not great. This is a sign that you may need to rethink your marketing plans.
3. Your social media is suffering
You have unveiled your company on social media but not seeing much activity. You have a handful of Facebook likes, a couple of followers on Twitter, and barely any connections on Linkedin. This does not mean that you will never have a social media presence. The advantage of a good marketing strategy is that you can grow your pages, enhancing customer engagement.
Where to from here?
In an ideal world you’d be able to bring in a marketing consultant who specialises in the field however, you might not be ready to take that step yet. If this is the case then a good place to start is to develop a marketing plan.
According to Forbes, you should include the following in your plan:
This describes your target customers and includes information on their demographic profile.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
It’s essential that you establish a strong, unique selling proposition to set you apart from your competitors.
Pricing and positioning strategy
You need to have your pricing and positioning strategies aligned. As Forbes notes, an example would be wanting your company to be a premier brand. If this is the case, it would not help having too low a price as it could actually dissuade, rather than attract, customers.
This lays out the methods customers will use to spend or buy from you (online, distributors, retailers etc)
What you offer
Here you will include details of special deals or offers that may secure new customers.
These are the methods you use to promote your business and can include websites, social media, blogs, brochures, business cards,and magazine advertisements among other methods.
Your promotions strategy breaks down how you intend to reach your customers.
Online marketing strategy
The world has gone digital, and it’s important that you keep up with the trends by formulating an online marketing strategy to engage with current clients and reach new ones.
As the name suggests, this is your strategy to turn prospective customers into paying ones.
It’s important to include, as a final step, your financial projections in your marketing plan.