By FSB member and business mentor with UK Business Mentors, Paul Clarke
Whatever stage you are at in your business growth, how you market your product or service is usually top of your priority list.
Usually your market is changing and it’s like swimming against the tide or shooting moving plastic ducks at the fairground. Sometimes your competition changes their offering, technology advances affect your plans and always customer buying behaviours evolve which always affect your marketing.
Think about the 2 Premier League teams in Manchester. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of one or not, or don’t even like football. The red half had success after success, whilst the blue half, pain and hardship.
When the blue half were taken over in 2008 with significant investment, there was a detailed and specific marketing plan adopted to attract not only the top players but the external investment partners to make the club sustainable.
The marketing has developed at the red side, and while fortunes on the pitch have not been as good, off the pitch continue to thrive.
So, where do business owners start? Well it always starts with a plan!
When we work with business owners we always talk about seven ways you can market your products/services and have a simple 1 page tool to help business pull this together.
Once we have at least seven methods to use, which could be social media/website/online channels/flyers/emails/direct calls/retail shop layout/referrals – and many many more options – we then agree the actions.
- Mystery shop the competition
- Learnings from past experiences
- Ease of tracking
- External advice given/other companies success and recommended
- Target market – who are they and why do they buy?
- Defining your USP – we call it your compelling competitive advantage (can you define it and then market it?)
Once you have the plan or have updated your existing one you are only a fraction of the way there to success – the key part is to come!
Track your activity and progress—review and track some more and repeat the process. But how do you know where your customers or prospects noticed you? Whenever you get an enquiry always ask this simple question: where did you hear about us?
You will be surprised how few businesses do this, and the ones that do often then don’t have a system for then recording the feedback and reviewing later to ensure each marketing method is reviewed for its return on investment – AKA time and money.
Blog written by Manchester Business Mentor Paul Clarke Click here for further information. Paul will be delivering a virtual workshop for FSB on Wednesday, January 27, entitled: Seven Secrets to Increasing Profitability. Invites going out soon.