Digital technology is continuing to open up whole new ways of marketing.
If you keep making marketing blunders you could easily go bust.
Digital marketing has evolved to the point that it is now starting to dominate how small business and non-profits do their marketing. The big question is, how will you be spending your money to create the organisation you want in the new digital environment?
You can now create something that the whole world could be watching, and in turn, drive important user-generated conversations on social media to your business?
Digitisation is a quantum leap for marketing. Exponential advances in cloud technology, greater customer power and increased competition mean all businesses are subject to the opportunities and threats it offers. The winners will become action oriented in this new environment, and build a competitive advantage that leaves their counterparts wondering what happened.
Digital channels and devices now give prospects and customers far greater access to information and the means for communication and collaboration. The physical world is being reproduced through digital communities and is fundamentally changing the way business is done.
With a little creativity, you can generate some serious interest in your business and greatly improve your new customer generation, particularly when you don’t have money to waste.
The following will give you some of the answers you might be looking for to improve your marketing efforts:
- Stick to your knitting. If you don’t focus on promoting your core business in the modern world, who will?
- Create your Marketing Plan. One of the most important parts of any business is the marketing plan, don’t start marketing without one, unless of course, you want to waste.
- Forgetting Your Current Customers. Often you can become so involved with digital marketing that you start to neglect your existing customers. You should be using the right digital channels to engage with your customers and other key stakeholders to maintain relevance and drive the important conversations you need to have. You can use digital channels to create seamless and consistent engagement.
“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble”. Ian Schafer
- Failing to create engaging content. Content marketing is important, if not the most important key to good marketing. Content marketing helps your prospects to understand your business, your products and services and how you can make their lives easier.
- Perfectionism can cost you everything. With limited resources, making constant changes to your branding, content, websites and social media while trying to perfect your product and service offering can be fatal as the prospects move on and could be lost forever.
- Copying your competitor’s marketing. It is important to be different in order to stand out in the crowded marketplace. Understand your competitive advantages and put them front and centre of you marketing programs. Prospects and customers will get sick and tired of the same old noise.
- Don’t get too tricky. Marketing your business doesn’t have to be hard or expensive, it only gets that way when you try to be too tricky with flashy promotions that turn a prospect off. Keep your marketing simple so people will simply understand and focus on being reliable, practical, useful nd helpful at every touch point.
- Don’t rule out self-promotion. The biggest mistake when it comes to marketing is not doing it. Prospects aren’t going to learn about you or your business and its products and services unless you tell them. Prospects want to know about the people they are dealing with. Learn to feel comfortable promoting yourself and your company.
- Nurture your prospects before you try to sell anything. Today buyers can obtain as much information as they want before making a purchase. Follow them on their journey solving their problems and frustrations as you go. If you do this well your marketing will exceed your expectations.
- Don’t ignore SEO. Startups and small businesses are in a great position to leverage SEO, but so many don’t understand it and therefore do nothing about it. It’s unfortunate because a high ranking on Google can lead to more visitors to your website.
- Always have a ‘Call to Action’. When a potential customer sees your marketing materials or comes to your website, what do you want them to do? Without a call to action, your prospects won’t know what to do with the information you’ve given them, and if they move on, you’ve lost your opportunity.
- Become familiar with the local search. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in recent times, you will know that searches on Google have become local and more personal. Search results are tailored to your location.
- Don’t waste money on big splashes. You may want to take the industry by storm, but you don’t want to blow your budget in one marketing campaign. The problem is if it doesn’t work you have lost big time. If it does work you may not have the capacity to meet the demand you create and you lose potential customers you might have had.
- Get your website and blogging up to speed. I don’t care what kind of business you are in, the website is where people go to find you and learn about who you are and what you do. Without a website and an active blogging schedule, you might as well go and put up a sign in the middle of the Sahara desert.
- Don’t use the wrong channels. There are countless marketing channels you can use to generate leads and engage customers. The important channels are those that each of your market segments goes to for information, help and to buy products.
- Measure what matters. Irrespective of how small your enterprise is, you should always be measuring and evaluating performance by tracking the money you spend on marketing. If you don’t you will soon be confused over what works and what doesn’t and in desperation, you will start wasting money on anything.
“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again”. Amrita Sahasrabudhe
It is important to understand that marketing problems and mistakes will be mostly of your own doing, but are completely preventable. Even if you do make them, it’s not the end of the world, they won’t necessarily end your business as long as you learn from your mistakes, you can move on to better strategies and drive your business towards your vision.
Marketing can be frustrating, encompassing writing skills, art, science, psychology, sociology and economics. With so many different aspects, it is not surprising that even the world’s most powerful companies are vulnerable to costly and embarrassing mistakes.
If you weren’t happy with your marketing, try something different today. Don’t stay in a rut, just keep improving forward and keep in mind that a lot of little marketing actions will add up to a better performance.
[read more=”Personal Experience” less=”Personal Experience”]
No matter what kind of business or non-profit you start, making mistakes with your marketing is predictable. In fact, I have found the more mistakes I make the more I learned and the more my marketing improves.
Everyone must navigate their own unique set of marketing challenges. Everyone has restricted budgets, limited resources along with a pressing need to build their customer base and make a profit.
In my first real marketing foray, all I knew was that I had to let people know I existed, so I started to listen to a few people in the newspaper and television business. “Why not have your new suppliers pay for the advertising, they have the money and the need to help you to be successful”. And, “For space they pay for, we will give you the same space for your editorial and stories”.
Bingo! I finished us with a 16-page supplement in the local newspaper, in fact at the time the biggest supplement the paper had ever done. All it cost me was time and a few phone calls. My marketing was up and away.
Well over the years, as you will, I learned that there is a lot more to marketing than a few ads in the local paper. Knowing when and how to invest in marketing for your business or non-profit, will in most cases, be the key ingredient to your success. It’s never too late to start over.
Sometimes you just have to slow down, take care, and trust that all will be well because you have done all you can without more learning. Authenticity, honesty and personal service still underpin successful marketing.