Marketing is a necessity for any successful business. How can you sell your product or service if people don’t know about it? But often, as business owners, it is the part of the job that presents the most challenges and problems. It can feel like the time invested in marketing is not rewarded richly enough.
The general trend for marketing in 2018 was dabbling in social media ads. But, if you already use social media ads, you know that there is more to it than throwing a few dollars at a boost. So if throwing money at marketing isn’t the way to maximise your reach; then what is?
There are literally thousands of ways to spend your time on marketing activities (paid or unpaid). I want to give you the secret to reaching a wider market, and it is free!
Marketing starts from the inside. The fundamental step missing from lots of businesses is correctly analysing your existing situation. To seek real growth it means understanding the gaps that ultimately lose sales for your business (or plugging your sales funnel).
If your business is not first functioning well on the ground, it doesn’t matter how many different marketing techniques you try, you are going to get poor results. Working towards being a functional business will be more powerful than trying to work out how the ‘Google ads’ algorithm works!
So what specifically do we need to look at in our businesses? Well, do you have a system that ensures you’re handling your clients correctly?
Look at all of the factors involved when dealing with your clients and make sure you’re providing a smooth and professional system that supports you, your business and most importantly takes the pain away for your clients. Your number one goal would be to make it a wonderful experience for your customer that makes them want to tell their family and friends about you. Word of mouth is powerful!
Don’t think of your clients or customers as a statistic! Get to know them as people. ‘Knowing your target audience’ just means thinking about your customers first! Understand what they are looking for you to fulfil. This will change the perspective of your marketing, as you try to let people know how you can help improve their lives, rather than sell a product or service.
Always set out realistic expectations. Sometimes in business, there are components that require clear rules or boundaries that save the customer (and you) from a bad experience. If you don’t set clear expectations and process boundaries, you’re at risk of many complaints and unhappy clients.
Say your product/service takes 5 days to complete. Ensure that the customer is aware of your turnaround times upfront. Always, always, always deliver on or before schedule. This means never making unrealistic promises which cause you to under deliver. This will only end one way; unhappy clients.
This also means apologising sincerely when you fail to meet expectations. Don’t make excuses, offer compensation and be humble. The way you handle these situations is very influential on the status of your business in the market.
Marketing is ever changing. Marketing five years ago is very different from today and it will be different again tomorrow. We are changing. We expect more. Our customers expect more!
This means it is more important than ever to stick to the basics of good business. Your most important marketing tool is the way you run your business.
Monique Annetts, Founder, AMA Event Management