Marketing can be daunting, time consuming and in many cases a very confusing task. "What is going to work for my business and what is just a waste of time?" These questions have been plaguing business owners and entrepreneurs for centuries if not a millennium. So how do we as business owners and marketers swift through all the options and theories to know what is right?
Also we now have social media and the seemingly free promotion through this new media. But don't kid yourself this is NOT free. You need to devote time and energy to social media and then there the unseen and dangerous cost if you post the wrong image or get too political with your customers. How will this affect your brand and your business? The old adage "bad publicity is still good publicity" can still work but be careful that you do not alienate your core target market!
So what am I trying to say in this article, how am I going to help you? I brought up some interesting ideas but I haven't actually given you something tangible to work with! And that is what is lies with marketing. Marketing is more art than science and you can only really use your own gut to be your guide. What marketing strategies and tactics have worked in the past? What are your goals? Do you know your target market? These are first areas to look at. You need to set a goal; then you need to pick strategies and tactics that will appeal to your target market. If your target market are teenagers then you will have great success in using a video that will appeal to them so that they can spread it virally through social media. But if your target is baby boomers over the age 65 then this might not be a great tactic.
Your next step is how you are going to measure your success and what amount of success do you want? If you want to increase sales by 10% then you can then you just need to measure sales in a particular time period. But if you want something more like 1000 new customers in 2 months, then you need to work out the best way to identify new customers. Whatever your goal; write this down, measure it. There is no point in starting any marketing if you do not have a goal and way to measure that goal. But make sure your goal is realistic and achievable.
Whatever you choose as your goal and how you are going measure it, you need to give yourself and your business time to achieve the goal. Most marketing activities will take up to 90 days to reach their peak. So if your business isn't doing well, think about what you were doing in your business 90 days ago. If you weren't doing any marketing then you know why your business needs help.
To some you will recognize what I am taking about especially if you have done a marketing plan for your business before. So think of this a mini marketing plan. This should be something you do regularly and not just once a year or just when you started your business to get that start up capital. It doesn't have to be super formal, just write it down. Make a plan, follow through and measure your success.
Marketing is an essential part of any business and if someone tells you that they do not have to do it is fooling themselves and they don't have a growing business.