Taking the approach from American classic film Field of Dreams, “build it and they will come” is not likely to get your business where you want to be. Launching and growing a business is work. In today’s economy money is tight and there is no shortage of competition that you need to set your company apart from. Companies don’t run on autopilot. It is something you will have to work at every single day and be constantly evaluating and correcting your direction.
We have found that when budgets get tight, marketing spend is one of the first things to go. While we understand budgeting and the wide-array of expenses that come with owning and operating a business, this is the wrong approach. If no one knows about you, no matter how cool you or your product are, there will be no sales. This means even less money and the chances of keeping your business going become slim. For you great inventors, high-energy entrepreneurs, emerging fashion designers, or mom and pop local businesses you need to keep expenses lean, but still find a way to get your brand out there in front of your target audience with a well-researched and strategic marketing plan. Smart marketing techniques and execution can help keep things lean, while still getting word out there.
Here are some ideas of how this could work for your business:
- Who are your people? What does your customer look like? I am not talking about 5’7”, blond, 30 years old…It is not generally that specific, but it is important to do market and competitor research as well as draw from any previous experience to try to narrow down a few targets. In general, what is this person’s age group, sex, family status, income level, interests, level of education? What are their goals and challenges? Where do they tend to go when seeking information? We recommend getting started with a few key targets you think make sense and evaluating every quarter to make sure your initial targets were accurate or if any need to be added or removed and make adjustments to your overall marketing plan from there. No need to spend your hard-earned money on something that isn’t working.
- Once your target is identified…what’s next? Once this basic core customer is established it helps get a more focused idea of what solution your company is providing for them and areas that are more likely for your business to be found by them. This targeted approach ensures you are not wasting time and money in areas that won’t put your brand in front of the right sets of eyes. What could this mean in terms of execution? Here are some options:
- Is your current website communicating the correct message targeting these people you have identified? Does it have strong imagery and content with the right call-to-actions that will resonate with these people and make your brand stand out?
- Has your website been built with the correct keyword strategy that targets this buyer persona?
- Is your website built on a responsive, mobile-friendly platform?
- Consistent and keyword-rich content is something that will take major weight with Google ranking and help get your business found by the right people. Do you have a plan and the resources for successfully executing this content?
- Are there certain social media platforms that make the most sense for your business? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the list is growing…There are so many out there it is often hard to know where to begin. Also, who is going to keep up with that?!
- Are there other means of advertising that make sense to reach the group(s) you are targeting? Where do you start? Direct mail, press releases, giveaways/contests hosted by key influencers in that market, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, inbound marketing, in person events, etc. You cannot do it all, so what makes most sense when thinking about the people you are trying to reach and the resources you have?
So…you are busy trying to launch your killer new product or grow your existing business. Solidifying your plans for your website, content, social media, advertising and digital marketing campaign is a good start. Most likely, not only are you bootstrapping, your team is maxed out and you need man power. That is where we come in…
If you are already overwhelmed with your workload, we are here to help. The team at 10twelve has 20+ years of experience launching our own brands, companies and products with a lot of strategy behind all of it. We offer packages to make us your complete out-sourced marketing solution. Call us today for a free consultation. 30 minutes of conversation could fix some of the issues that challenge any small business.