Whether you’re just starting out in business or you want to grow your business there are some key factors that can really make a difference to whether your marketing efforts are a success or failure. Below, we take a look at some of these factors:
Define your target audience
You may be happy to sell your product or service to anyone who wants to buy it, but you are unlikely to have the budget or time to implement marketing campaigns that appeals to everyone. So instead focus on the key benefits your customers will gain from your product or service then consider what type of person or business would want to make use of those benefits. Your target audience could include one or more of the following criteria:
Type of customer – an individual or a business
A particular business type – sole trader, private company, public sector, PLC, etc.
Individuals according to age, marital status, gender, employment situation etc.
Likely disposable income of individuals or business turnover/profit
Location – local, regional, national, international
Go where your target audience goes
Once you’ve identified your target audience consider where they ‘hang out’, i.e. what type of marketing activities are they likely to see which you could use to get their attention. For example, LinkedIn, Facebook etc; trade magazines; networking events; local press etc. Your marketing should focus on these channels.
What’s your message?
Whatever marketing channels you use, the messages you communicate need to be consistent, eye catching and thought provoking to your target audience. Write about the benefits you can provide as opposed to just the features. Also consider how you intend to differentiate yourself from your competition and make sure this comes across in your messages. If you carry professional indemnity insurance, this can demonstrate you are a professional business and build confidence with prospective clients. So are you cheaper, faster, better quality, innovative, unique etc?
Create a 12 month marketing plan
Setting out what marketing activities you are going to do and when will help you to manage your cash flow. However, it can also help you to:
Make sure you have marketing activities happening across the year, to target specific group(s)
Organise activities to coincide with your available manpower and resources
Identify gaps in your marketing during the year and fill them with activities, so you have a constant flow of messages hitting your target audience
Taking on board the above points can increase the success of your marketing activities and they should form part of your annual marketing strategy. In addition, you should also set out your marketing objectives and how you are going to monitor the success of your activities.
This article has been written by Vicki Banthorpe of Momentum for Professionals, marketing consultants, who are working in association with Professional Indemnity Insurance Brokers. Further marketing information can be found at www.momentumforprofessionals.co.uk.