How do you survive in an increasingly competitive economic environment when you cannot afford marketing expertise? Given below are a few markting tips to help you find your way through; but before you actually set out to create a marketing strategy ask yourself the following questions –
- WHO are you reaching out to?
Marketing is more than simply letting people know about your products or services. You need to know who your customers are and they need to be segmented into groups based on ‘needs’ or ‘demographic profiles’. You need to be able to communicate to them about why they need what your business can provide.
- WHAT do you want to achieve from your marketing plan?
Create measureable marketing goals which will help set the direction for your marketing efforts. Remember to be as targeted as possible so that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
- WHY should people buy your product?
Study the marketplace and competitors. Organizations that leverage data intelligently do better business as the application of insights help make more relevant decisions and shape sharper more effective marketing campaigns.
- HOW will you reach out to customers?
Create a comprehensive plan that outlines specific actions and pinpoint channels and tools to be used to get the marketing strategy going. This document will be different from marketing strategy, which as stated above, summarizes marketplace knowledge, goals and strategies for achieving set and measureable objectives.
The next step would be to figure out how to engage and communicate with audiences. Keep in mind that it is critical to observe and understand the latest trends in the marketing space as the landscape changes rapidly. You will need to use elements of both Outbound and Inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is when you attract attention to products or services by campaigns that go “out” into the marketplace to generate sales. Many consider this style of marketing which includes TV, radio and print advertising to be old school and traditional.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is proving more effective than traditional marketing as it is designed to attract customers to brands by using online platforms like websites and popular social media channels. Regardless of what you can or can’t afford, it is important to make sure that your marketing is integrated; as it takes up to 7 outreach efforts for something to sink in with audiences. Make sure to have consistent content and graphics across all mediums of communication.
- SET aside a budget
Lastly, chalk out and devote a percentage of projected gross sales to the annual marketing budget. Contact suppliers and agencies for actual quotations. Use apps or software to record and update cash flow data to prevent potential budget deviations.
Smart bootstrapping is about turning lack of resources into competitive advantage. While it may seem complicated, following the above steps will ensure that you don’t get lost in the maze of marketing.