When you’re at that difficult stage of growing and expanding your small business, it can be difficult to know how much priority to give to marketing. Money is usually very tight and you’ll only want to spend it on the essentials.
It’s certainly possible to invest too much of it if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you have a professional marketing team at your disposal, it’s usually money well spent. This article looks at some of the things that a team like this can give you.
A Fully-fledged Strategy
Many people confuse marketing with advertising and think that they’re the same thing. Advertising is just one aspect of marketing, and if it’s all you know how to use, you won’t get very far. What’s more, it’s easy to invest in different aspects of marketing and get very little out of them because they’re not coordinated, or they’re even working against each other.
A properly designed strategy takes into account your target customers, your products or services, your budget, the circumstances under which you’re working, and the nature of your company. It ensures that you’re in a position to generate the maximum possible returns on your marketing investment.
A Better Understanding of Your Customers
The first thing you’ll need in any serious marketing campaign is a thorough understanding of your target market – take it from Jackson Hole Economics’ Alex Friedman, who has built his career on understanding how the right information can empower decision-makers.
To conduct effective market research, you need to know how to ask the right questions and find the best methods of connecting with the customer demographic that interests you. Research will often help you to define that demographic more precisely or to identify additional demographics you’re likely to appeal to.
Successfully connecting with your customers and the wider public isn’t just about promoting your products and services – it’s also about promoting you.
Brand building gives your company a presence in the public imagination, making potential customers feel that they know and trust you. It involves bringing together different aspects of the way that you present yourself – everything from your logo and letterheads to the language you use and the way that you dress. It’s about constructing the personality you want for your business, whether that’s smart and authoritative, youth-oriented and fun, or something else.
Tailored Marketing Campaigns
When you have a new product or service to launch, you need a marketing campaign that’s tailored to suit it, targeting the right people in the right way.
Experienced marketers can help you to construct campaigns that are perfectly suited to the individual things you’re selling and also fit your brand image so that each promotional exercise builds up your reputation further as well as providing the public with the new information that will spur them to buy.
A Successful Website
Your website is the online equivalent of your front office, but how many people are passing through it, and are they going where you want them to?
A well-designed website will incorporate a sales funnel that directs customers step by step toward making a purchase, visiting your premises, or whatever other goal you’re aiming for. It needs to fit into your wider marketing strategy so that prospective customers can be directed to it from every piece of promotional work you produce, and so that it fits in seamlessly with your brand.
Social Media Management
Many small business teams assume that they can look after their own social media, but managing a business presence is not the same as managing a personal one. It can easily become overwhelming and exhausting.
When it’s run by a professional, you’ll find that you get much more effective results in a fraction of the time because your activities are coordinated and make use of all the obscure ways that various platforms provide for improved audience targeting. You’ll also benefit from having a social media voice that is consistent and reflects your brand.
Mainstream Media Presence
As well as improving the results you get from social media, a professional marketing team will help you to connect with the press and broadcast media on whatever scale is best suited to your work, identifying possible stories that get you noticed, and getting you established as an authority in the area you work in.
Again, you can do a bit of this for yourself, but it’s an area where having existing connections makes it much easier to get results. With media training, you and your team will also make a better impression in any interviews you give.
All these advantages mean that professional marketing is something that no ambitious company can afford to be without. It does require an initial investment but, if it’s done right, it won’t be long before it’s paying back in a big way.