Marketing is key
Over the next few weeks we have a series of workshops on different subjects which all relate back to marketing. Tomorrow (16th) we have “Getting the Words Right” – where we look at how to create good online content that people will use. Next week we cover email marketing, with our MailChimp workshops and then at the beginning of March we cover how to use visual media and branding.
All will look in some detail at different aspects of effective marketing but behind them is the key message that to make your marketing work you need to:
- know who your customer is
- understand them and
- target your marketing at this group rather than just sending broad messages to all.
Who is my customer?
When you start a business, you assume you can sell your product or service to everyone. Gradually, in the process of creating a business plan, you start to realise that you can’t sell to everyone and that you need to start finding your ideal customer. The sorts of questions you need to ask yourself include:
- Am I selling to the world or just locally?
- To which part of the market will my product or service going to appeal?
The answers to these questions will start to define how you need to market your business and the strategy you need to adopt. So, let’s look at how these might affect the way you market your business.
Local versus Global
Most businesses do start local and for a very good reason: you can test your market and make a bigger impact within the market at a lower cost. The type of marketing you do is going to be much more personal than for a global product.
- You need to be known, so you go networking.
- You need your products or services to be seen, so you take local advertising opportunities, perhaps in a local magazine or on the local radio station. You might even put on a display in a local shop or at a show.
- You try to meet potential customers and get involved in demonstrating your product or giving talks.
- You produce leaflets to hand out or leave around.
At the same time, these days you have to have an online presence:
- A website – to act as your sales brochure, at the very least.
- Social media accounts – to provide virtual networking and advertising.
- Email marketing – to reduce the number of leaflets you need to create and increase customer engagement.
Once you start to tackle a global market, then the virtual world has to be the place to work, at least until you can afford to travel the world promoting your business!
Which market segment am I targeting?
I don’t think there is a single product or service that appeals to everyone, simply because everyone is different. So, think carefully who is going to buy your product. The following questions will help you decide:
Am I selling to a business or consumer?
For business, am I targeting a particular sector, size or type of company?
For consumers, are they of a particular age range, gender or have specific interests?
What is going to make people buy from me?
Then you can work out what will aid your marketing
You need to answer the following questions (with an unabashed plug for our workshops to help you do so!).
- What words and style of writing to they use? Come to “Getting the words right”.
- What images and media will appeal? Come to “Using pictures to tell the story”.
- Who do I target with my email marketing? Come to the MailChimp pair of workshops.
- What should my brand be? Come to our branding workshop.
After that you will know how to make your marketing effective.