Ten years in business and 20 years as a marketer. Boy have we learned some awesome stuff along the way. Enough to write a book in fact (watch this space). We’ve witnessed how the very best marketing campaigns can blow results right out of the ball park. But for now, I am going to share our very best marketing insight, collected over ten years of delivering marketing outcomes to small business.
Tip #1 – Know Your Target Audience
Knowing exactly what drives your customer will allow you to communicate to them efficiently and effectively. It’s easy to find out more about your customers. Simply ask some of your best customers why they shop with you. What is it that they like about doing business with you. You may be surprised with the answers you receive and it is these answers that you can use to shape and create your content.
Tip #2 – Always set goals and objectives
Your business objectives and goals will be used to fundamentally guide your marketing goals and objectives. Objectives and goals can be set around:
Tip #3 – Set up a system that measures your marketing
This is a great habit to get into and by just tracking some fundamental numbers each month, you’ll be able to get a good feel as to whether your marketing is working. We use a basic monthly measurement template that you can download here. It’s in Excel so you can customise it to include all the important measurements relevant to your business. These monthly measurements help track the following:
If you track these key figures month-on-month you’ll soon be able to identify trends and opportunities for improvement.
Tip #4 – Treat marketing as an investment
Marketing done well is an investment. Not a cost. Clever marketing that communicates key messages and points of difference in a way that means something to a defined customer base will make you money. If people don’t know that your organisation exists – how can they buy from you? If people don’t understand why they should buy your brand over a competitor’s brand, why would they buy from you? If people don’t know how to purchase your produce from you, where can they buy from you?
When considering how much to invest in marketing, ask yourself how much are you willing to back your product or service? If you let people know about what you offer, how confident are you that people will buy? If the answer is 100%, get your marketing investment into your budget ASAP.
Tip #5 – Assign an annual marketing budget
Just like any investment, an annual marketing budget that aligns with your organisation’s key objectives is imperative. When assigning budgets to marketing activity, it’s a good idea to draw up a rough priority matrix to ascertain which marketing activities are going to make a strong impact or weak impact on your businesses bottom line. Then work out which high impact activities are going to be high cost and low cost.
It’s important to remember that some of the brand awareness activities may seem low impact as they may not necessarily lead to immediate lead or sale generation however they are still a necessary part of the marketing mix.
Tip #7 – Learn how to use social media as a marketing tool
It’s one thing to know how to publish a post on social media, how to connect with people on LinkedIn or how to upload an image to Instagram. However, these platforms are engineered for marketing wizardry so if you know how to use them as a marketing tool, you can achieve some awesome results.
The major social media channels can provide you with incredible consumer insight. They offer super targeted advertising opportunities that can drive traffic to your website, bring you leads and increase sales. Even the smallest tweaks in your mindset to ensure that the time you spend on these platforms is moving you closer towards your overall business goals can help you generate better results.
Tip #8 – Be visible
No-one can buy your product or service if they don’t know about you. Just because you open a business, or launch a website, does not mean customers will automatically come. Friends, family and referral networks will only result in a finite amount of business. The very first objective of any marketing plan is to generate awareness! Let people know who you are, what you do, what makes you different and how to buy from you.
Tip #9 – Be Authentic
Be authentic in everything you do. Whether it be talking to customers, pitching your business or engaging with your social communities. In our experience, people engage with real people. Show your customers the real people behind your brand. They will love you for it.
Tip #10 – Be Excellent
Being excellent inspires people to talk about you, it inspires people to want to work with you again and again. It will even inspire your competition to want to be more like you. If all of the above are happening, then you will have yourself a very successful business.
Learn from all of our best practice marketing tips, tricks, hacks and insight collected from over ten years of providing marketing advice to small businesses.