Five Questions Every Local Business Owner Should Ask Their Marketing Team

Local businesses are challenged in many ways and reaching new consumers often tops the list as the most significant. Addressing tactical marketing issues remains critical for success, but without an in-depth, strategic understanding of audience and objectives, marketing campaign effectiveness often suffers. 

“Marketers can miss out on valuable brand awareness and conversion opportunities because they don’t truly understand their customers and how best to reach them,” said RingBoost VP of Marketing Ellen Sluder. “They see moderate results and don’t realize exploring just a few strategic questions can yield a positive return for years to come. Strategy feeds tactics. It’s not always a revolution that is needed. Asking the right questions can lead to programmatic refinement that has a multiplying effect on results.” We've assembled five questions from our team of local marketing experts designed to help business owners and those responsible for the branding, messaging and services of those enterprises to consumers: 

Who is Actually Our Ideal Customer? Most companies, and marketers, believe they know exactly who their target customer is, but the data often suggests otherwise. Founders can bring a specific idea of for whom their product or service is perfect, but digging into the details might reveal that growth opportunities exist elsewhere. Understanding who is engaging with the business and why is a key aspect of making meaningful connections and identifying viable opportunities for promotion. Delivering more targeted messaging with data-driven insights, will improve the effectiveness of all marketing campaigns - from digital channels to out of home advertising. 

What Are We Doing to Build Trust?  Consumers can be finicky - any disconnect in strategy, messaging or execution could lead even the most viable business to be passed over for the competition. Today’s local businesses must consider how each and every interaction builds trust with their prospects - from the images they use on their website to the custom local phone number that their customers call for support. The groundwork for trust is set well before the first human interaction - are you being intentional about it?

What is Our Primary Competitive Advantage?  Understanding how you are superior is the quickest way to establish, refine or optimize marketing strategy. As the competitive landscape changes, your differentiation might change as well. What separated you from the pack five years ago may be different now. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it part of your strategy. While the low hanging fruit is having a better product, lower prices, and more knowledgeable support for most local businesses, successful companies understand that it often comes down to the quality of relationships they establish. How to build better engagement will be very personal to each business. Always be proactively building on your strengths.

How Are We Measuring Our Marketing Investment?  Marketers often use an abundance of data points to express the quality of their efforts, but few can provide details on the business impact. In most instances, it’s measured by anecdote or gut feel. The campaigns feel like a success based on vanity metrics - but how is it really affecting success? Return on marketing investment measures how much revenue is generated as a result of the time and money that has been spent developing and executing campaigns. When performance is accurately tracked it becomes easier to make better decisions.

What is the Weakest Part of Our Marketing Program?  It may be difficult to admit, but every company - and every marketing program - has some limitations or issues with their approach that is likely preventing them from achieving greater success. These weaknesses result in reduced revenue and failure to reach the enterprises objective. The goal of marketing is not to market - it's to grow awareness and feed sales. Don't choose tactics based on peer pressure. Your company is unique. Be willing to cut what isn't working to make room for new opportunities. 

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