We all know the figures; how almost five out of every six new businesses fail within the first few years.
I’ve just completed a video on how small business owners can double or triple their sales, by addressing just three common challenges, and marketing is one of them.
So, if you are finalizing your marketing plans for 2018, STOP, don’t commit to spend a penny until you read this to see if you are spending your money effectively.
Most small business owners are experts in their business, but not experts in marketing, and so many don’t appreciate the difference between STRATEGIC MARKETING and TACTICAL MARKETING.
Strategic marketing is the content of your message. It’s what you say and how you say it, including the concepts that you choose to focus on, the words and images you use to communicate those concepts, and the tone in which the message is delivered.
Tactical marketing on the other hand, has to do with the execution of the strategic marketing, such as placing ads, brochures, building a website, attending trade shows, social media etc.
If I ask a business owner about their marketing plan, the answer almost always comes back in terms of tactical marketing. But these are the tools or the tactics.
How to make those tactics work, to attract and importantly close customers is to use STRATEGIC MARKETING.
Below are the key elements to strategic marketing:
Element 1 Have a MARKET DOMINATING POSITION.
Be that category of one. Blow away your competition by making your business the ONLY obvious choice.
Don’t start with the tactics first. Most do this, and it is WRONG!
I can’t say this enough!
If you do not want epic failures and wasted money with your marketing, then don’t choose tactics first.
How do you create your market dominating position? It is all down to positioning – why should your customers choose you over all the other people or businesses who do what you do?
Most small business owners give very little thought to their positioning, but get it right and it gives you huge advantages – you can attract more of the right customers AND you can charge higher prices, which has a massive impact on your profit.
Element 2 – MARKET
Who is your target customer/client?
Your marketing won’t get any traction unless you target those customers who want what you’ve got to offer.
You won’t sell hamburgers to vegans’ you, you won’t sell pet care to someone without a pet, you won’t sell a kitchen refurbishment to someone who is in a brand new house. Everyone is not your target. You will waste marketing pounds if you don’t know your target audience and what they most want.
Element 3 – MESSAGE
Your marketing needs to successfully interrupt and engage your target market to identify problems, frustrations, uncertainties, and annoyances your prospects have and then address them in your marketing. Their pain in most cases is their hot button.
The you need to be able to provide the Panadol to their pain.
Address their problem (hot buttons) in a compelling message to attract them, and then keep them engaged with the solution you offer.
Element 4 – MEDIA
Now the media. Where is your audience? Once you know WHO they are, figure out where they are and what forms of media they use, so you can put your message right in front of them to attract them.
Where online and social are still the buzzwords of today, they are still just another ‘media’.
Just think about this; isn’t it fascinating how overflowing our email inboxes have become recently, and how empty our letterboxes are? A recent study by Epsilon found that 64% of people pay more attention to physical things they receive in the post than they do the email.
Your media needs to be carefully considered – don’t just hop on the latest bandwagon because you think you should, review your media in terms of who your customer is, and what will provide you with the best return on investment.
Element 5 – OFFER
Have a great offer by providing the solution to their problem.
Create value in the offer to get the highest prices instead of cutting prices to get people to buy. Can you bundle things together, provide a guarantee there are many things that can increase the perceived value of your product or service.
Element 6 – REFERRALS AND TESTIMONIALS
Consumer opinion now travels faster and further than ever before. Did you know:
88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
90% of people read business reviews before they visit a business
What other people say about you is more important than what you say about you.
Online reviews can be the single most effective marketing media for your business. They get you seen online and they build your reputation.
In the UK you really need to have a Google+ presence as Google is the go to search engine for most people who are looking for something online.
No one really cares about you or your business. Tough, right? Take heart, as they don’t care about me either!
If you are a small business STOP trying to BRAND your business. It is a lengthy process to build a brand and you will have gone out of business before it happens if you market this way. People don’t buy logos! They buy solutions to their problems, or they buy to fill a desire.