It’s almost impossible for most business owners to stay up to date with the myriad of marketing tactics available in today’s business environment. Marketing is no longer a case of writing a marketing plan and investing in a few campaigns and then waiting for the phone to ring. Today marketing is about analysing consumer behaviour, developing a multi-channel strategy and then testing and optimising constantly to ensure maximum return on investment.
Your marketing strategy should be a constantly changing dynamic document The best marketers never stop learning, listening and looking ahead.
The key signs that you need to revitalise your marketing knowledge or work with a marketing expert are:
1. Your marketing budget doesn’t budge. Marketing is a constant cycle of adjusting your budget. Therefore, your budget shouldn’t be fixed and inflexible but rather scalable to optimise growth and ROI. If one tactic is working, why not make it work on a bigger scale? If you can’t add more to your funds, reallocate your budget from campaigns or activities that do not deliver results. Treat your budget as if it’s an investment. Something that delivers an expected, qualified return over time. Study how new potential customers enter in the top of the funnel, and find out how much you need to invest to find those prospects and lead them down the conversion funnel.
2. You have no idea what
SEO means. SEO refers to search engine optimisation. This is a long-term strategy to have your website appear in the first few results when a user searches using a key word that relates to your product or service. SEO is an important and effective marketing tactic for businesses today. Not prioritising it means you are missing it’s top 5 benefits which are: increased traffic, ROI, cost effectiveness, increased site usability and brand awareness. It’s not just the words you’ve put on your website. Everything you publish (including YouTube videos, tweets, ads) or that’s published about you (third party feature) affects your search engine ranking; hence the need to strategically optimise each around your core keywords.
3. You think sending one press release will deliver results. When the only public relations strategy you know is to publish a press release and send it to a broad media list you shouldn’t be surprised when it doesn’t deliver any PR. More often than not press releases are seen as self-serving, biased, and purely just hype. A PR strategy needs to involve a number of tactics, including events, developing and distributing quality content on a regular basis, experiential marketing, social media and media relations..
4. Your social media strategy only revolves around one platform. Understand that every social media platform is tailored for specific types of content. For example, Instagram and Vine are only great for visual content marketing. Whilst Twitter is for short-form content only and requires monitoring and communication wseveral times a day. Being on a single channel may save you tons of work but you could also be risking alienating some of your target audience. Keep in mind that most people these days are multi-platform users. Using a mix of different social media platforms with tailored messages to ensure your marketing reaches your target audience, where and when they spend their time.
5. You use your blogs to talk about how great you are. Customers today are not easily fooled. They can spot a hard-sell from a mile away. So avoid blogging about yourself all day long as these are the blogs that repel your target audience. What you need to do is attract them by creating blogs that are relevant and useful. Focusing on the soft-sell is the best way to start getting more sales for your blog or website. So instead of telling your readers your product is the best in the market, you can describe the various features and benefits of your product. Or, using a clear presentation, compare your service with the other services in the market and give the reader examples of why your product is better than the others. More than likely your reader has been researching different products/services to solve their problem. Remember, there are many ways to share your expertise (about your business, industry, or niche) or promote products/services without sounding egotistical and spammy.
Marketing has become exponentially more complex in a very short time. And, there’s no clear-cut marketing formula for everyone. The most effective approach to marketing is still dependent on your industry and your ability to adapt to the changes in your environment. Doing the same old and expecting different results is marketing insanity.
Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.