Marketing can be broken down into fundamentally nine parts. Web, socials, brand, signs, print, networking, sales, service and the plan. (And not necessarily in that order). Everything needs an objective. No one part alone is enough, you need it all, if you want to build a business.
There are hundreds of definitions around marketing, but this is close to what I believe the idea of building a brand and profile for your business, to make it easy to be found, is all about.
Marketing refers to any actions a business takes to attract an audience to the company's product or services through high-quality messaging. Marketing aims to deliver standalone value for prospects and consumers through content, with the long-term goal of demonstrating product value, strengthening brand loyalty, and ultimately increasing sales. (and do it by spending as little as possible!)
We've developed a simple process, The Marketing 9, to understand what marketing basics that any and every business needs to build the foundation, (the profile), so that you can be found, seen, heard and remembered, easily. The harder it is, the less you standout, the more you need to spend, to attract clients.
What's in a name? Well if you want your business to be found easily probably something! The easier it is to find you, by what you do, or by your business name, it therefore would make sense that what you did, was your business name, the domain and social handles! That's not always possible, but it's easier than most think.
If your business name that you've chosen has nothing to do with what it is you do, or spelling is a little "creative" then be prepared to spend money on Google add words, SEO or Facebook marketing just to be found.
Online can actually be a lot easier than most think. Pick a simple name, connect everything across all platforms so the brand matches, then add things like an updated Google business profile, and you'll be surprised at how easy a business can be found. But make it complicated because you like the funky name you came up with because it sounds cool, but doesn't get any traffic, is not that clever. Think about the business, what it does and how that can be incorporated into what it is that you do, and you my find you're much easier to be discovered. It's not the only answer to attracting clients, but without the big budgets, like most small businesses, a smart name, makes sense.
The message of what your business is and what it does needs to be crystal clear, confusion loses more clients faster than anything else.
Get the message clear so that someone can make a decision in seconds as to whether this is what they need or move on.
Make it simple, make it understandable, make it memorable.
Marketing is the single most frustrating part of business, and the problem is business owners think it’s all about their product. Its not. It's all about the marketing!
If people don't know you exist, or they can't find you, they can't buy, that's a no brainer. It's also not going to work with one post a month on free social media. It needs frequency, consistency, and the ability to recognise and remember a brand. Large businesses have big budgets, small businesses don't, but they can still compete.
Get the brand, name, and message right, then get it out there everywhere. Socials, web, Google my business profile, print, signs and networking. It all helps, it's all needed (if you want a business that works)!
We have a checklist designed to go through everything that you need to get your marketing started, just ask me.
Every business needs a website. Their own. Not just one that’s part of a group. Its simply about control and what you get to tell about yourself and not everyone else on the same platform. Those other platforms have added value, but your website is about you.
It doesn't need to always be a multi paged site, often a single landing page might be enough. All you need is the ability to be found via your domain and your key words, not someone else's, and for businesses that are starting out, there are even free versions available. There is no excuse!
Marketing is critical for every business, and the fundamental reason that most businesses don't get the result they want, is lack of marketing, including at least a basic website. People research everything these days. Social media, Google reviews and your website. Give them plenty to see.
Social media isn't the only thing that will help your business attract customers, but it is one of them and in fact can work incredibly well, if the effort is made to make it work.
Its part of the total package that makes up the online profile, but as a standalone marketing tool through quality content, and consistency, it can result in sales and not just more followers.
The key to making social media work though is understanding what's needed to make it work. A monthly post won't cut it, the norm is daily and the reason is there's just too much to stuff to break through. In order to be seen you need to be there more often than your competition. It's the same philosophy that's behind seeing the same ad on TV multiple times in the one ad break. Frequency. You remember it, like it or not!
It can work, but it's only a part of the total marketing solution. Digital, face to face and branding. The average person takes at least 7 connections before considering making a buying decision. In most cases, they just won't do it with a monthly Facebook post. It can work and help to build a business, but it's about doing it all and doing it regularly.
How to really build a business! Hang onto your clients!
If there’s one thing that 95% of businesses miss, it’s maintaining contact after a client has bought once! The easiest thing to do is ask them to come back, buy again and guess what, most will.
Build a simple CRM system, followup, say thanks for buying from us, and they appreciate it. Why, because no one else does it! Try it.
Every client you have ever sold to, could buy again, but most don’t, because they just forget. Remind them about you, by just keeping you in the front of their mind, not someone else. It works!
As old school as it might be, print, is still an important part of business marketing. Even the humble business card still has value. It’s the starting point of a conversation, that leads to business opportunities. With many people it's the start point of their business.
But it’s more. Brochure, flyers, magazines and print advertising are the next step in marketing next to digital. It cant be done in one thing along.
Everything that needs to be done to create awareness in marketing has an objective. Awareness, interest, educate, inform, an invitation to buy.
It helps to think about marketing as a tripod with the business at the top. Leg one digital, leg two print, branding and leg three connect, networking. Relying on just one or two legs alone and you won't be standing for too long! Three legs gives you stability.
Give me a sign! I visited a client a couple of of years ago, and it took me a while to find him by working backwards on street numbers, but I finally did. He said business wasn't going too well and I commented how hard it was to find him because there was no sign. He replied with just, I hadn't got around to it!
If there's an opportunity, put a sign up. Cars are perfect, cover it in a sign or wrap, banners, flags and more. Do whatever it is you need to do to get attention. People can walk or drive past you for years without knowing you are there or what you do just because the signs didn't stand out! (Or there were none)!
Look for branding opportunities anywhere. Uniforms, A-frame signs while working somewhere, local sponsorship of sporting teams. Get your name out there, be seen, be found. If they don't know you exist, they won't buy, but if they do, there's a chance.
Business is all about people, it's about connections, relationships, it's about every single person that has contact with you, not just the obvious ones. Everyone, knows someone else that could buy from you at some point. So the simple answer is the more people you know and that know you, could help grow your business.
Networking business groups is the obvious solution, join a few, be there regularly. I heard a professional at a networking group say once, if I don't go, my competitors will.
But it's also about other contacts, including cold calling. At some point you need to connect with your potential clients and that's start through an initial contact, a clear elevator pitch and eventually a meeting, conversation and possible sales presentation. Connect and network with people.
The marketing 9 checklist is the easiest tool to review and rate what you do now and look at what you need to implement to move forward in being easier to be found, seen, heard and remembered.