BConsulting UK: Is your marketing holding your business back?

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Is your marketing holding your business back?

Marketing can either make or break a business. Marketing done wrong can cost you dearly – in time and money. How successful a business is can often be defined by how well it does marketing.

A recent case study from Watertight MarketingTM reported a family-run business doubling profit and turnover in only 18 months having focussed on their marketing. This clearly shows the importance of marketing in business success.

However, it’s not uncommon to find businesses where no one is focussed on marketing. I’ve even come across businesses who would tell you they don’t do marketing! The very fact you are in business means people know you exist and are buying the products or services you offer. So, if you are in business, you are marketing – whether you know it or not! And you’re probably doing a lot right.

The key question is: are you making the most of your marketing?

Many think marketing is about promotion. The bit where you let people know you have a product or service they may need. This isn’t wrong; it’s just that marketing covers far more than that: strategy, research, analysis, planning, pricing and branding, as well as promotion using lots of different media channels. And, that’s not an exhaustive list!

Having a business you are passionate about is exciting. It’s natural to want to jump straight in to telling everyone about your business using advertising, PR and social media. But this is where marketing gets dangerous, and where you can pour money down the drain.

Marketing to build a successful business takes time and thought – and having a marketing plan is essential. Building a business is a bit like climbing a mountain: you can see the top but you take time to plan your route and have the right training and equipment in place before you start. Marketing is the same.

The following five pointers will help you avoid some fundamental marketing mistakes to help you make the most of your marketing.

    • Align your marketing objectives with your business and commercial objectives. It’s all great doing promotion, creating awareness, but you want people to buy what you have to offer – whether that’s a product, a service or supporting a charitable cause.
    • Before you jump into promotion-mode, make sure you have a thought through strategy and plan. If you don’t take time to put a plan in place your marketing will become disjointed and inconsistent.
    • Focus and define your target market. To deliver a mass market marketing plan takes a big budget and a lot of time. Instead, be clear on your ideal buyer and tailor your marketing to target them, not everyone. This will stop your marketing becoming scattergun and too thin to make an impact. You’ll save money and see success quicker too.
    • Take time to understand the journey your buyer will take to decide to buy – their path to purchase. Make sure you have marketing support at every step along that path to convert the sale.
    • Keep going. It takes buyers time to travel their path to purchase. Many businesses give up on marketing as a lost cause when they don’t see quick results. Unless it’s a relatively insignificant purchase people tend not to buy in a heartbeat. Give people time to decide to buy from you.

When a business approaches me to help with marketing I start by tackling the fundamentals listed above. That way I know that businesses I help are following a thought through marketing plan to help them achieve their business goals and step-up their business success.

For further information tweet me with marketing questions @bconsultinguk

Visit the website at www.bconsulting.uk to find out more about my 3 day Glasgow marketing bootcamp from 25-27 November 2016.

 

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