When David asked me if I was happy to share some marketing advice for FSB members reading the blog, it got me thinking about what some of the most common misconceptions were surrounding the dark arts of marketing.
Anyone who has tipped their toes into marketing as a career will find one very common trend: people think it’s more complicated than it is. The truth is that marketing is actually incredibly simple and I’m going to go through why that is with the following 3 simple things you should think about in relation to your marketing activities.
Start by asking a very simple question: Why are you trying to market your business?
Sometimes, you might feel that you are marketing because you’ve been told you should, but at its heart, marketing is simply to raise awareness of your brand, your product, or about a special deal or service.
There may be some other reasons for doing specific forms of marketing but certainly if you’re only just starting out, this is what you will be using it for.
Once you know what your marketing is for, you should ask what you are hoping to achieve. Some people will talk about Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) but you don’t need to get too technical. Just work out what you would consider a success following your marketing activity.
For a small business, the answer to this is almost always going to be to generate leads and money. A lot of the time you just will not be able to afford to shell out cash unless it makes a return.
If you become a larger company, you can start worrying more about how recognisable your logo is, but until then, worry more about how many bodies come through your front door, or how frequently the phone rings.
Some campaigns and pieces of marketing will have several different aims but if you set out with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, then what you produce will be much more focused and refined.
3) See if it worked
If you have a purpose and you know what you’re aiming for, you also need to give a few thoughts as to how you’re going to check if it has worked. It’s not always clear what has and hasn’t been successful, but you should be at least trying to measure it.
If your marketing is online, then this can be as easy as firing up Google Analytics and checking your new visitor numbers. If you are encouraging people to drop you a phone call then keep a log of the number of calls you are getting following the activity.
It doesn’t have to be complicated and for many small businesses, the marketing analytics won’t warrant massive spreadsheets and charts everywhere, but you do need to see if what your doing is helping you at all, otherwise you could potentially be wasting valuable time and money and not be realising.
If you are looking to start or have recently started doing some marketing around your business and want to share your experiences, why not drop a comment below?
Next time we’ll have a little look at Return On Investment (ROI) and how those three little letters can help you be smarter with your marketing activities.