Are you looking for some tips to create a marketing strategy for your business if you’re not a marketer?

You’re a busy business owner and you’re expected to know everything about marketing!  Let’s be honest, that’s just not possible for most!

Where do you begin?

Good question!  If your head is a mess trying to remember everything to do with running your business, then take a minute to step back and look at your business.  The best place to start is with your customers.  Who are your customers?  Having a clear vision of who your ideal customer that will buy your product or service is crucial.  Without this piece of the jigsaw puzzle, you’re possibly marketing to the wrong person.

1. Market Research

If you can’t answer the question about your customers, then do some market research.  Either employ somebody reliable to do this for you, or carry out some research yourself.  Market research can include customer feedback, online surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.  With the powerful information from your market research, you should know the likes and dislikes and pain points for your customers.  Most businesses solve a problem in some format for a customer.  It is a matter of know what is the problem and how you can provide the solution.

2. What’s Next?

There’s no point in spending the time and/or money on market research and doing nothing with it!  You need to use the information you’ve gathered to know how best to target your ideal customers.  Perhaps you’ll know from their age group what social media platform they’re using.  If the majority of your customers are on Twitter and your business is only using Facebook, then that’s an obvious fix.

3. How do you target your customers?

By gathering your all important market research, you should be able to figure out what way to market to them.  Email marketing works brilliantly if you have a product with repeat sales.  Keep in mind how businesses market to you.  If you’ve just bought some clothes recently online, then you’ll notice that the retailer keeps in touch with you regularly via email.  They remind you of similar products that you might like.  They remind you of the change of season and possible need for clothes to match that season.  Is there something similar that you can do in your business?

There’s loads of options in terms of marketing.  It is just a matter of matching how to reach the right customer with your budget.  Social media, email marketing, video marketing, online advertising, Google Ads, etc. are all digital marketing options.  Keep in mind that your customer might be better reached with a mixture of online and offline marketing.  Networking might form part of your marketing mix also, particularly if you’re in the B2B space.

4. Create a plan

Create a simple marketing plan for your business and try to stick to it.  Set out a calendar of all the important dates for your business.  If your business is running an event, then you’ll need to create lots of awareness of the event BEFORE it happens.  There is no point in running the event, not telling people about it and expecting a big turn out!!  Marketing at the right time is key.  You’ll notice retailers selling back to school products are busy marketing over the summer months now, for example.

5. Have a budget and measure

Your plan and your budget need to meet somewhere along the way.  There’s no point in having a grand plan, but no budget to match.  Be realistic with your goals based on your budget.  If your budget is limited then get the most for your investment.  However, you need to measure the output of your marketing investment.  You can do this by setting realistic goals.  For example, if you are investing in social media advertising, then establish if you’d like more followers.  If so, how many and within what time period?  By writing down some goals, it gives you something to look back on.  You’ll know if you reached your goals, exceeded or fell short.  For example, before you start a marketing campaign, keep track of your pre-campaign figures.  You’ll then know what success looks like.

6. Still not sure?

That’s ok. Take things one step at a time.  Sometimes marketing is a bit of trial and error and you learn along the way.  Firstly do your market research and then market to the correct type of customer.  Set goals and measure them, especially if you are investing time and/or money.  There’s always the opportunity to outsource to the professionals.  There are market research companies that might help you fill that gap.  Lush Marketing are specialists in marketing strategy and tailor the strategy to your individual business.  We also help with marketing implementation on a short-term or long-term basis, depending on your needs.  We also train businesses to help them do elements of marketing for themselves.  We’d love to hear from you!