Marketing is something of a mystic art in the business world. It’s clearly vital, but the techniques and approaches are ever-changing and can seem obscure. If you run your own business, it’s important that you don’t overlook marketing as a central part of its development – particularly right at the start. Of course, your budget may be tight and there’s an awful lot to fit in. But without marketing, no one will know who you are or what you offer. We recommend assigning a good chunk of your budget to marketing, but that doesn’t always go far enough. If you’re working on your own or as part of a small team, you may need to take on the position of marketing guru yourself to some degree. This article will help you become more effective in this role.
There are so many great short marketing courses available online, while numerous colleges and universities can offer something even more in-depth. Private student loans are available for courses such as MBAs in marketing that will help you invest in yourself by learning more than just the fundamentals.
Listen to Your Customers
This sounds obvious, but there are many ways to go about it. You can collect data regarding online behavior and demographics by observing your audiences if you run an organization that involves in-person interaction, or you can utilize digital data collection resources for this same purpose. Otherwise, you can ask your users themselves to fill in information about who they are, what they like about your business and what they’d like to see you do in the future. Or you can do both.
Customers like to see a company taking an interest in their wants and needs, and they’ll be even happier to see you actively responding to what they say. Offer rewards for filling survey forms just to provide that little extra sweetener. Entry into a free prize draw is always a popular option. If you don’t currently have customers, try to find out as much as you can about the current market and what seems to attract members of your target audience. At the end of the day, your vision is important but you should always prioritize catering to the client.
You’ll need a well-designed, optimized, easily navigable website that displays all your relevant information clearly and succinctly. You’ll also need to use tools such as Google My Business to ensure that your listing on search engines contains as much detail as possible. It’s a good idea to be active on social media too, responding to customer comments, requests and (very occasional) complaints quickly and as effectively as possible. This is another great way of ensuring that all of your clients feel valued and listened to. We also highly recommend getting your company on as many review sites as possible and actively responding to all feedback. It’s a great way of seeing what changes need to be made as well as thanking your audience for their positive comments.
Build Your Brand
A clear, cohesive personality is a must for any business. Everything from your brand’s color palette and preferred fonts to logos, taglines and text formatting style should be considered. You should also maintain a recognizable, consistent tone of voice throughout any marketing material as well as your website, social media posts and communications with customers. This will make you memorable and will instill a sense of familiarity and comfort into everyone using your brand.