You’ve got a big job to do. Whether you serve an entire city of patients, manufacture data system-saving software, or educate communities on the beauty of local art, chances are that you’ve got your hands full serving the customers you have and developing product/service lines to get new ones. Customers take priority – and they should.
However, is your singular business focus running the risk of leaving your brand’s visibility in the dust? Word of mouth may be the best publicity, but it’s also the slowest when it’s positive, albeit the fastest when it’s negative. Without great service you won’t sustain customers, but without great marketing you limit your own success. Make sure to take care of your brand from the outside, as well as from the inside and you’ll consistently grow, improve, and outshine competitors.
overcoming the pains of marketing
There are five big gripes that many business owners have with the marketing biz. Pause and take a moment to investigate how a greater understanding of these factors can help ease you into an effective marketing plan that suits your organization’s needs, goals, and audiences.
- Communication – One of the most important factors affecting any project, including a marketing project, is communication. You need a clear vision before you can market yourself. Even if you can’t phrase it eloquently at first, come up with a message or mission. Then, build your plan from there.
- Tech Tools – Almost any marketing strategy will rely heavily on some type of technology. Print and online ads often require graphic design teams. Web work requires complex programming software. Even simple online ad placements require an understanding of basic keyword analytics and analysis tools. Make sure you have and know how to use the tech tools you’ll need to market yourself effectively. If not, purchase them and learn, or hire someone who already has the knowledge and the skills your plan requires.
- Budget – A lot of times “budget” becomes a big, bad word. However, you must be realistic about what you can afford to spend – in both time and in money and technology – to effectively market yourself. Remember, marketing is incredibly important to your business’ growth, so plan for it and research how to enact your plan as cost efficiently as possible.
- Results Evaluation – How do you measure your marketing results? Well, that depends on your goal and the medium you use to send out your message. Various campaign types require various analysis methodologies. Carefully study your competitors’ campaigns and ask yourself – what they did right, what they did wrong, why you think that, how they got their message out, and how they tracked their campaign results.
- Next Steps – As you grow and new technology and marketing strategies emerge, your marketing plans need to evolve to reflect what works in the renewed market climate. You must always leave room for follow up marketing or your plan will become stagnant and begin to drag.
no band-aid solutions
If you’re behind on the above factors, take the time and effort necessary to educate yourself properly on the ins and outs of your business’ marketing potential. Remember: no marketing is terrible, but improperly executed or unprofessional marketing has the potential to be even worse. There are no band-aid solutions to your business’ marketing needs. Build your plans on a strong foundation and with clear knowledge to help your organization and its brand flourish into the future.