When it comes to marketing your business there are a few fundamental steps to take in order for you to understand what your clients are looking for. Marketing has many key factors that contribute to the success of the campaigns you are going to run. The first most important step in marketing your business is to have a strong layout of your business plan. Most people in business take their product or service straight through to advertising, without following the process of preparation. There is also high confusion about the difference between marketing, branding, and advertising. All three of these topics need to be covered in your business plan in order for you to strategies the best solution that would work for your business.
Let’s break this down to the key fundamentals of what you need to be considering when it comes to your business. Well you ask what is marketing? This is what we call a “push” method. It is a method of which we strategies different options for our brand and how we will take it straight to the market. You will have to understand your consumer, understand what the customer is in the market and find effective methods to communicate those services. Marketing is not about your company and what companies’ biggest mistakes are when starting out is that they try to focus only on what their needs are. So, when it comes to the advertising part of the business, they advertise their brand instead of the service/product the consumers needs are. Advertising and branding both fall as a subsection of marketing and that is why it is important to know the difference between them both. It is important to know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the market you are trying to target. A business plan will help you develop the different in detail about what consumers would want from your business.
The questions you need to be asking yourself when you are focusing on your business plan towards your branding are:
- Who are we and what is our mission?
- How are we different from the rest of the other companies that offer the same service/product?
- What makes my company tick and set my services apart from others?
- Who are my competitors and how do their services focus on a client’s needs?
- What is my brand strategy? (colors, logos, website branding, customer care…)
- What is the promise my brand can bring to the market to suit our customers?
- Where do I see my business in 5 years from now?
- Are my goals realistic in terms of a long-term business?
- Who is my target audience and does my brand reflect that of their demographics, interests and behaviors both online and offline?
- How do I determine my target audience? (are they teens, into specific type of music?)
After you have determined your brand and why you would be important as a business, then you could start to work on the marketing strategies. Your marketing strategy should determine the best options for your business as a whole and most importantly keep the focus on the end consumer. Within marketing there are many variations that you can start to strategize the best possible solution for the end results. I would suggest to go with two simple techniques both online and offline that would get you started. There are many different methods to focus and understand what goes into marketing, here are a few:
- PPC ads (pay-per click)
- SEO + SEO tools
- Content creation
- Offline media content (flyers, banners, print media)
- Email marketing
- Social media tools/services
- Video or photos
The list truly can go on and on with the endless possibilities to get your product/service Infront of others. My advice for first time business owners is to take it slow and realize, that this is a long-term process with many key areas to work on, before just making the mistake of taking to product to market. You have to be consistent in what you do and how you apply it. Start small and work your way up to the next steps, you can always dream bigger. You have to give value to your target audience otherwise you will end up closing shop and saying “this is not for me.” Once you have the groundwork covered and you are able to take the next step in your planning business will become easier.
The next step would be to go out there and network with other businesses, potential clients, and those within industries you need for your business to grow. Networking doesn’t mean going on social media and “making friends” or connections over LinkedIn. Networking means that you arrange something unique like a presentation, for a group of people within and without your industry knowledge. There are many different and effective methods to do networking that can help your brand’s success. Yes of course you can network on social media as well, what stops us? I guess the answer is fear. Just remember fear is temporary and it is a feeling that prevents business growth. Ask the questions you need to ask and stay determined to not wonder off on what you have to offer. The moment you start to bounce around through different avenues for your business is the moment you start to stray away from what you are good at doing.
These are the steps you need to take or relook at taking when it comes to your business development in marketing. Stay tuned for more information in the next coming weeks.