Get Your Business Back to the Basics of Memorable Marketing
Building market awareness of your product or service is more challenging now than ever before. New channels, platforms and tools seem to launch every week, advertising seems to be everywhere and increasingly affordable for any level of business, and While all of these avenues allow marketers to reach out to customers more effectively, the low barriers to entry and relative affordability also means that everyone is trying them out, including your competition and new entrants to the marketplace. Keeping up with the latest and greatest new marketing methods is a job in itself, and one that most owners simply don't have time to prioritize. When all of your options feel overwhelming like this, it often helps to get back to the basics of memorable marketing and reconnect with what's most important about your communications with clients and potential customers. [caption id="attachment_1191" align="aligncenter" width="455"] Plug back into your marketing basics[/caption]
Get Back to BasicsThe essential elements of memorable marketing may be old, but they stand the test of time for a reason: they guide strategic thinking and mean the resulting tactical decisions that much easier to make. Thankfully this can be boiled down to a couple of simple questions (albeit with some potentially complicated answers!) Small business owners or small marketing departments must ask themselves every year: "Where will we reach customers and how do we stand out there?" Drill down into these questions and you'll unravel elements unique to your industry and expertise. Every business sector presents its own specific challenges. Nonetheless, some guiding principles do apply to raising and maintaining awareness, regardless of industry. These include:
- Know Where Your People Go: As simple as it sounds, this idea should prompt some deep, time-consuming research for your business. We've come so far now that simply answering Facebook or Twitter to this question just won't do! When potential audiences are spread across tens (or even hundreds) of platforms that could be worth exploring for your business, you need to know what's out there and why you're using specific services. Learn where and when your potential customers spend time online and work on getting in front of them there.
- Tell Your Unique Story: As on an individual level, the story of how you got where you are and why you do what you do is far more memorable than stale sales copy. Review your marketing materials and online presence to understand what story (if any) you're currently telling potential customers, and where you can inject more elements that are unique to your business.
- Help Before You Sell: Especially true online, but applicable also to telephone conversations and in-person interactions with customers, being useful without demanding a sale is a sure-fire way to stay top of mind. Answer questions, offer 'how-to' content via your online channels, and be there when your target market is in a jam. They'll not only remember you when ready to buy, they'll tell friends and family about you as well.
- Synchronize Online and Offline Marketing: A consistent message and brand is at the core of raising long term market awareness for your business. Regularly used brand assets such as your logo, color palette, website address and telephone number must be memorable and blended together seamlessly, building an unconscious recognition that sparks familiarity when a potential customer encounters them repeatedly.
- Personalize Your Business: One of the biggest advantages that small and medium-sized businesses have over the larger players in an industry is the ability to offer closer, more personal customer service. Emphasizing the personality of your business across all of your marketing channels is an excellent way to have people remember their experiences with you. Allowing employees freedom to blog about relevant business topics of their choosing, share interesting industry articles that they come across, and have input into your marketing strategy can dramatically increase awareness levels.
Distinguish Between Tactics and StrategyThe opportunities presented by a seamless blend of traditional and new media marketing are there for your business to take advantage of, but it's important to remember that these are the tactics of your overall marketing strategy. The fundamental element is to understand the basics of your brand and customers, craft a strategy to reach them, and clearly map out the channels you will use to do so. This requires a clear strategy and commitment to delivering on the broader principles described above. In the long term this will save you a lot of time, as you allow your underlying marketing essentials to inform decisions and help you to run the rule over new channels. What have you defined as the building blocks of your brand marketing? Let us know via any of the social networks you see below!
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- Written by: mike on September 25, 2014Driving a small business toward success takes more than hard work; a successful business must brand and market itself efficiently and effectively.Read more
- Written by: mike on September 16, 2014Marketing is an investment, and like everything else in your portfolio, you expect to see a return. Whether it's increased info on leads, more calls, or pure and simple sales, everything in your marketing tool kit must pull its weight (or be dumped in favor of something else that does). Compared to most marketing tools, vanity phone numbers work harder for you andRead more