Marketing is a really important part of your business strategy, used to build a brand, encourage sales, launch products, reach new markets, or help your company to grow…to name a few goals.
There are so many ways to market your business but the trick is, to look at them all and decide which is, or which are, the most effective ones to invest your time and resources into.
You don’t have to do it all – good marketing is about being on the right channels, with the right message, in the right way, at the right time. Research, analyse and plan.
If you are reviewing your marketing this year, here are 10 things to consider that will steer your marketing to success.
1. Review your target audience
Who are you currently marketing to?
Have you checked they are still relevant?
Is anyone else using your product/service that you haven’t considered?
Look through your customer base – who are they, and can you market to more like them?
Read our blog ‘How to define your target audience’ for more details on this one.
2. Review your key messages
Put simply, this is the main information your various target market audiences need to know about your product/service.
They will have a problem that your product/service can solve – know what it is, let them know how your offering solves it and share the outcome; how is their life improved once they’ve purchased?
Are you telling your customers what they want and need to know? Remember – you will have different customers using it for different reasons – tailor the messaging to meet their needs.
Do you need to update it?
Read our blog ‘What are Key Messages?’ for more detailed guidance on key messages.
3. Make a plan
The only way to achieve successful marketing is to plan it. This will be guided by many things, including new products, time of year, company news/changes, external news/changes/legislation, trends etc.
Once you know who your Target Audience is (Point 1) and Key Messages (Point 2), this becomes so much easier.
Use a content calendar to map out what you want to say, when and on which channel. It does take time, but it’s time well spent and will give your marketing purpose.
This should also include a review of your own channels too – are all your profiles up to date, with the right branding, functionality and content?
Are you speaking to your target audience with key messages, or does your content need a refresh?
Look at your website, social media, email signatures, shop signage, vehicle signwriting, printed materials and digital content.
Tell the right people, the right messages, at the right time.
Read our blog on how to create a content planner:
Other blogs you also might like to read:
5-minute digital marketing tidy up:
Spring clean your website:
Spruce up your social media timelines:
Update your marketing materials:
Update your digital content (written in 2021 but still relevant!):
4. Customer Service
It’s such a big deal – make sure you’re getting it right, because you could have the best product/service, but if delivery is poor, it won’t matter. A bad review is very quick and easy to write for a disgruntled customer.
Do what you say you’ll do – if delivery is within 48 hours, make sure it is – and use reliable couriers.
Describe your products / services accurately – no one wants something of lower quality.
If there’s a problem, solve it – make it very easy for a customer to let you know something has gone wrong and fix it quickly, so that the service they expected, happens.
Look at what customers complain about frequently – make a change somewhere, so this doesn’t come up in the future.
Treat your customers like the superstars they are – they could have bought anywhere, but they bought with you. Don’t let poor customer care be the reason the go to your competitor.
5. Reviews, Testimonials & Case Studies
A customer telling other potential customers how great your product/service is, is the digital version of word of mouth advertising.
It’s the best endorsement of your brand, products, services and company. A review involves someone liking your offering so much, that they took the time to write a review – and in today’s whirlwind world, that’s a big commitment.
They can take the form of user generated content, such as people sharing videos/images of them using it on their social media timelines, or a written review on a third-party website such as trip Advisor or Trust Pilot, for example.
Ask for reviews – don’t just assume they will happen. Once the sale has been made, ask for a review, or ask if there is anything you could have done better.
Their endorsement, read by potential future customers, could be what turns a query into a conversion…and it didn’t cost you many pennies at all.
Case studies are also very powerful – they take a bit more time to curate and need a bit more time from the customers, but give more information about what you do, why, who for and what difference it made to that customer.
Read our blog for more on reviews and why they are so vital:
Our other blog ‘Why Your Customer Database is a Goldmine’ might also be worth a read.
And – if you’re thinking of using your customer database for a newsletter, here’s how:
If you get a bad review – read our blog here:
6. Reward Loyalty
If you have a loyal customer base – people who buy again or refer others, do you reward them for it?
It doesn’t have to be a monetary value…a thank you goes a very long way, acknowledges their commitment and gives you a reason to get in touch.
Don’t take their sale for granted – nurture your best customers and know who they are. Your customer database can give you so much insight into who your customers are and how they interact with your brand.
Find some time to take a look to see who is a champion and think how you can reward it.
There are many ways to reward loyalty – choose your top spenders, choose your most frequent customers, choose the customers who have reviewed you, referred others to your brand…there are so many ways to reward loyalty, and if you’re doing it whilst competitors aren’t, then it’s time and resource well spent.
Are there opportunities you should be taking up and creating budget for?
Back to point 1 though – only look for opportunities where your target audience is! And – make sure enough of your target audience are there before you book advertising. If it’s only a small chunk, ask yourself if it’s worth it.
There’s a lot to consider before you book any advertising and unfortunately, there are a lot of ad reps out there who just want to flog an advert to help them reach their monthly targets…which often trigger a commission pay out.
Make sure you’re advertising is in the right place, to the right people, with the right message.
Read our blog about what to know before you advertise:
This is an area that often scares businesses – so they don’t do it.
But it’s a great way of raising your profile, showing your credibility and gaining some brilliant kudos for your brand.
Just to say – editorial is NEVER advertising. It is a way of gaining exposure for your brand, but it can never be ‘salesy’.
Publications are looking for good content ideas to run on their editorial pages that aren’t paid for by advertisers, because their readers want quality, relevant information to read.
Your content can be to educate, share your innovation, look ahead to trends, explainers, opinion pieces, evidence-based if you have carried out research…
And all you have to do, is to send your chosen editorial, (remember Point 1 – is your target audience reading it?) some details about it.
You can write a full press release or send a pitch – the latter is a shorter summary of the main points and much easier to do. It’s also the better option if writing isn’t your forte, because it will give the editor all of the main information quickly and easily – they don’t have much time and delete very quickly if things aren’t clear!
Read our blog ‘How to Write a Press Release’ – which also includes how to write a pitch.
Our blog on paid-for editorial may also be useful to read:
Does your branding say the right thing about your company and what you do?
Is it clear and professional?
Is it current and relevant?
Does it need a refresh?
What do your customers think of it?
How does it compare to your competitors?
Your branding is your first impression – take time to get it right, ideally with a brand specialist.
Read our guest blog from our friends at Mivvy Creative on branding:
And ‘How to Get Your Brand Messaging Right
Get out there in 2024 and meet people to talk about your business, plus find out about theirs too! Connections are vital in business, especially face-to-face ones.
Where are like-minded businesses going to – join them.
Where are the businesses you can collaborate with?
Which networking groups can connect you and help you to find collaborators, suppliers, advisors, etc?
Events are also a great way to find the right people – industry events in particular.
The more people you meet, the more your brand is out there, with you as the face of it.
You might like our blog about building your personal PR:
Marketing encompasses so many aspects, but time spent on the foundations, helps you to build in the future.
Izzy PR is your outsourced marketing p& PR partner – stepping in to help when there’s too much to do, you’re not sure where to start and need some regular, expert, guidance.
Get in touch to book an assessment with us, or have a chat about how we can help you.
Contact our founder and lead consultant, Sarah Hawes: