As a business owner, busy on the day-to-day running of their business, have you ever found yourself saying ‘I really must get around to doing some marketing?’
Stop right there!
Before you go any further, you should consider marketing as an essential business function, just the same way you consider the finance, HR and IT functions. Marketing is not sorcery. You can’t expect to wave a Magic Marketing Wand and ‘Tah Dah’ you’re at number 1 on Google and receiving floods of new leads. If only, huh?!
Here are a few things for you to consider.
Consequence No 1 – Embarking on marketing activity without a clear vision or strategy will result in wasted time and money.
Often business owners believe that marketing is simply social media, videos, emails, blogs or podcasts. Understandably wanting to see quick results, they jump straight into specific activity without taking the time to think about what it is they want to achieve.
There are many levels to consider when approaching marketing for your business which shouldn’t be taken lightly or skipped over.
No 1 – What are the long-term goals for your business?
Your long-term goals should align with your business vision and are intrinsically linked to the reason you started your business – your ‘Why’ (see Made Issue 9). Think about the direction you want your business to go in. Maybe it includes a new market you want to serve, or a new product you want to take to market. Whatever it is, it should make you feel excited and hopeful for the future of your business.
#2 – What is your strategy to implement your long-term goals?
Your strategy should be your medium-term goals – the steps you need to take to achieve your business vision. Be as specific as you can and set targets or percentages to really focus the mind to come up with ideas you can implement.
#3 – What methods will you use to deliver your strategy?
To achieve 1 and 2, you need to take action. Your short-term goals are the specific actions needed to deliver your strategy. Remember the 4 Ps of Marketing – Price, Product (or service), Place, Promotion. Try not to be tempted to jump straight into promotion (social media, blogs, etc.) when in fact, this is a very small part of the overall marketing function.
Plan and remember your ‘Why’ and your marketing activity will be a pleasure and not a chore.
Consequence #2 – Embarking on marketing activity without adequate resource will result in lack of consistency and at best, very little engagement.
Pat yourself on the back if you have a clear vision for your business and high fives all round if your strategy and communication methods are in place.
But have you factored in how you are going to find the time to write content and schedule regular social media posts as well as respond to comments and enquiries, for example? Just in the same way as you outsource or employ people to carry out your finance, IT and HR functions, you should seriously consider how and/or who will complete the marketing tasks. Even if you’re outsourcing your activity, you still need to be available to provide updates on your latest business news.
For the sake of your sanity and the success of your business, be honest – have you really got the energy or resource to manage your marketing activity consistently and engage fully with your audience?
If not, either hang on until you are ready or employ someone who can.
Reproduced courtesy of Made Magazine, www.madeinn.co.uk. Made is bi-monthly lifestyle magazine covering the North Notts region’s events, news and features, showcasing the most compelling people, travel, outdoor pursuits, food, culture and style.