Keep your marketing going over the holidays

Keep your marketing going over the holidays

As the holiday season approaches for a lot of small business it becomes the busiest part of the year. So, in effect just because a break is coming you don’t slow down your activities. In fact, you often work harder.

So why does everyone think that you should slow your marketing down at this time? It should be the opposite.
This is the time when you should be ramping up your marketing. It is during the slow times that you need to start to action things. This is the time when you spend time on your business as during the year it has been spent in your business.

So, here’s what you should do.

• Start putting together your plan for next year. Who are you going to target? What new areas do you want to increase your business in?
• Start working on your content. Get your stories written and put them in your ‘Content Schedule’ so that when everyone is back you are ready to post. If you don’t have a content schedule by now, then I suggest you start one.
• Have a look at your current communications, refine it, get it ready for the new year.

Although it may seem the wrong time to put effort into your marketing, it’s the time you should be ramping it up.

Remember, good Marketing doesn’t stop just because everything else does.

Ways you can manage your Marketing activities

Ways you can manage your Marketing activities

In this training, I will introduce ways you can manage your marketing activities. There are methods and some documents that will help you stay in control. You have come this far but it is important that you do not lose momentum. It is like starting any project, it is always exciting at the start, but after a while this excitement wains and starts to become a chore. If there is one thing that I want you to take out of this training is this, Marketing is not just ideas and creativity, it is procedures and structures.

The processes of Marketing

Whenever we start a new client at Assertive Marketing the first thing we do is have weekly meetings. This allows us to work with you and do all the things that are needed to get the marketing up and running. Everything that we have done in our training so far has been following the methods that we follow with all our clients. After the planning is done then we need to look at the activity and management of marketing. Treat it like you now have a marketing department. The principle behind this is that you will learn the discipline of marketing. I have many clients who say, “do we have to meet every week, I don’t have time for marketing”. My answer is always the same. “Yes, we do!”. The point of having these meetings it is to get you into the habit of marketing. To get you to take a little time each week to think about your marketing. If we can start with one hour per week, then after a few months you will continue to allocate that time for your marketing.

The discipline of Marketing

This is what will and does happen. Let’s say we have a meeting at 10:00 on Wednesday morning every week for about 8 to 12 weeks. What will happen is that every time you approach the meetings there are certain things that you will think about and do before, during and after the meetings. You may have to prepare something for the meeting or do something during or after the meeting. As the weeks go by this habit will form and you will automatically keep doing it. This is what I call the discipline of marketing. You create a discipline that forces you to act and do certain things. Then you keep doing them. Now you keep the momentum and the good marketing that your business deserves.

Enforcing the discipline

This discipline that you are now involved in will help you to keep the marketing going. It now needs some physical aids to help you stay on track. The way that I enforce the discipline is to work with these meeting times and I have also introduced some documents that keep you on track. There are 2 main documents that I will always use, and they are the Marketing Action Plan and the Marketing Action Calendar. By working with these documents, you can make sure that everything is done and followed through.

What is Marketing for a Small Business

What is Marketing for a Small Business

What does Marketing for a Small Business mean? I was at a football club reunion the other week and a friend asked me what I did. I said to him that I run a marketing company. He looked at me and said, “yeah but what do you do?”. So I started to tell him all of the things that I do. He looked at me with confusion and said, “I didn’t understand a word of what you just said”. I then thought about how many other small businesses out there are confused about what marketing companies do. So, I’ll explain.

Marketing Communicates

A marketing company will help you communicate your business to the right audience. That means we understand what your offer is, who your potential customers are and find the best way to get your message to that potential customer. It’s as simple as that. It is how we do this that becomes confusing. For example, there are digital and traditional ways. Let’s break that down:

Traditional

Traditional marketing is print advertising, sales promotions and physical items that help promote your message.  For example, brochures, handouts and talking to people.

Digital

Digital marketing is getting your message out there online. Methods used are websites, Google optimising and online advertising on Google and social platforms.

What should a good marketing company do for you?

Firstly, they should understand your business, your market and why people will buy your product or service. Then we find out the best way to get your message out to your audience via the best method be it digital or traditional.

How are you Currently Promoting your Small Business?

How are you Currently Promoting your Small Business?

How are you currently promoting your small business? You need to do an analysis of what you are currently doing. If you are advertising anywhere or even what social media sites you are on. I often find that businesses will often forget that they are doing any kind of advertising or social media. You must remember that any kind of activity is communicating something to the market. So, if there is a website or social media page that you have created (especially if it is your personal account) you must now look at what you are communicating. Going through the Why or Purpose statement will help you to formulate the correct message as it will show you what your company is all about.

What is the current advertising?

Go through your current advertising and promotion and find what you are doing on:

Social media platforms

List down all the activities you are doing online and why you are doing them:

  • Facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Email campaigns

Are there any campaigns that you are running now or newsletters to your customers? If so have a look at what messages you have been sending.

Local marketing

List down all the things you are doing within your local environment such as advertising in local papers or magazines.

Communication strategy and promotion

From your Why or Purpose statement you can set out what your key messages will be. Be clear with the message that is going to the market. These statements will be put on all your communications including website, any sales documents as well as any advertising that you may be conducting. It allows you to be confident that your message is not misconstrued. Clear and Concise.

To Do:

Now what you should be doing is going back to the list of communications that you listed before and see what you are saying. Is it communicating your Why or Purpose? If not, then you need to change them all so that they do reflect your Why or Purpose. A big mistake that a lot of businesses make is to always be communicating what their industry is communicating. You must remember that a potential customer may not know the ins and outs of your industry. So talk to the customer.

What have we learned?

  • You need to do an analysis of what your current communication is.
  • Remember that any kind of activity is communicating something to the market. So, if there is a website or social media page that you have created (especially if it is your personal account) you must now look at what you are saying.
  • Going through the Why or Purpose statement will help you to formulate the correct message as it will show you what your business is all about.
Analysing Your Target Customers

Analysing Your Target Customers

Establishing who is your perfect customer by going through your current customers. If a customer is good to deal with then look for more like them. 9 out of 10 times these customers will be aligned with your own company values. They think like you do. From this information, you can start to work out your target customer. Things to do:

  • Make a list of potential businesses that will fit into what you offer
  • What value will they gain from your business?
  • What are their needs?
  • Does your product or service fit into that need?
  • Can you satisfy or fulfill that need?
  • Continue to add other potential customers who fit into the profile

It is important to note that not all of your customers will be that perfect one. By profiling the good customers, you can find potential customers that are similar. Here are ways to do that:  

Customer What needs do they have? What product or service fulfills that need?
Customer A Need A Product A, C
Customer B Need B Product B

  The next step is to analyse your own products to see what will be able to fulfill these needs.  

Your key Features and Benefits

  Make a list of the key features and benefits that your products/services will offer this potential customer.  

Product/Service Features Benefits
The name of the product What are the features of this product What benefits can be gained from this product
     

  It is always good to make a list of the features and benefits as this will allow you to create any marketing documents that may be used in the selling and promotion of your products. The next step is to take these benefits and features and match them with the customer.  

Customer Needs and Fulfilling Them

Now that we have established what we offer and why we offer it we can now match them with what the customer’s needs are. There is never a successful sale unless the product/service that you offer matches the needs of the customer. Keep doing this until the products are satisfying the needs of your target market. It is important to note that not all products will be perfect for every customer. If your product does not fill the need then do not offer it.  

Customer Need Product to satisfy need Benefit to the customer
Customer A Need B Product B Will satisfy Need B by doing…
       

This process looks complicated but if you know your product and your market, and I know you do, then this is simply a matter of writing it down.  

What have we learned

  • Establish who is your perfect customer.
  • Go through your current customer list and find out who that customer is.
  • If this customer is good to deal with then it is a good idea to start to look for more like them.
  • They will most times be aligned with your own company values. They think like you do.
  • From this information start to design the target customer.
  • Make a list of potential businesses that will fit into what you offer.
  • What value will they gain from your company?
  • What are their needs?
  • Does your product or service fit into that need?
  • Can you satisfy or fulfill that need?
  • Continue to add other potential customers who will fit into the profile.
  • It is important to note that not all of your customers will be that perfect one. By profiling the good customers you can find potential customers that are similar.