How to Prioritize Business Marketing
The oversimplified answer to managing your marketing is to focus on marketing strategies that fit the goals of your business. A marketing expert will establish plans that fit your company’s exact goals, resources, budget and timeline.
Here 7 Marketing Priorities suited for most start-up or growing businesses:
1. Increase Outreach to keep your sales pipeline filled.
Tactics for this include building your outreach list to 10,000 people. Why? Sales is a numbers game. Outreaching to many will net you a few new clients on a regular basis. That’s how sales goals are reached and stabilized. Outreaching to just a few is generally where small businesses make costly mistakes. Build your web and social media presence, gain visibility, do some networking, speaking or writing. Collect names and keep in touch with them so they can find you when they need your products or services.
2. Get Professional Help Where It Counts.
The ability to figure it out and do it yourself is both an asset and a threat to entrepreneurs. Sometimes, doing it all yourself just doesn’t make sense. For example, If you bill out your services at $200/hr. and spend 2 hours on bookkeeping (or admin or gossiping on Facebook vs. actual strategic marketing on social media), you just cost your company $400 in sales. If you’d hired a terrific bookeeper at $40/hr. you would have just paid $80, but saved $320 by devoting that time to sales.
Worse, if you spent $5,000 on a website that doesn’t work to convert sales, you may need to revise it as well as revisit your marketing strategies to ensure you’re launching tactics that work best for the time, cost and abilities that you have.
3. Strengthen Customer Service.
Improve your customer service to sell more to existing clients. Do your clients know all the ways you can help them? If you’re an acupuncturist, for example, who’s helped a client overcome hay fever symptoms, make sure they know your acupuncture can also help with their back pain, or menopause. This applies to all product and service companies – 60% of new business can come from your existing customers buying more of the items you offer – if only they knew you could help!
4. Increase Distribution.
Some industries benefit greatly from representation at shows, events, media, or in-person sales if they have the established relationships in your target industry (like fashion, for example) and you don’t. But until you’re making a good amount of proven sales, a rep won’t likely be interested in helping your company. Since reps take a percentage of sales, this can sometimes be a vast benefit if you know how to manage reps properly. (If not, get some marketing advice from an expert so reps don’t kill your business. This happens all the time!)
5. Expand Your Business Territory.
I find that often clients believe their only market is local when they often could double income by outreaching to wider territories. Test sales for select products/services online to find out if you have a wider market who really needs your help.
I’d been writing customized company profiles for years. The cost usually ran $700-$1000 for a top quality profile that features a company properly for funders, clients, media or web visitors. I realized I asked the same basic questions during most profile interviews, so finally programmed those questions into a form that writes your company profile for you when you answer the questions. I figured it would save me some time and my clients some cost if I could make this easy for them. The cost is under $30 and this company profile tool has created profiles for companies worldwide in a range of industries from airline hangar rentals to artists. The product has been selling for 10 years and best of all, I’m selling it while I sleep.
A few other tips for building products for service businesses:
- write e-books,
- planning tools,
- estimate forms,
- resource guides,
- special reports or checklists,
Sell these products for $7-$197. You can charge $497 for an annual membership that offers monthly training (for service companies) once you have proven value in your training. If you sell only 30 memberships you’ve just increased revenues by an extra $15,000.
6. Create a Frequent, Consistent Marketing Campaign.
It’s critical to stay top of mind with your potential market or they’ll forget about you with the 20,000 bits of information they are bombarded with daily. It’s also critical to stay current.
- Promote with multiple media: web, speaking, blog, social media and more. Not everyone will read a blog or listen to your talk, so it’s important to reach your audience with various media.
- Your website must be optimized so people can find you top of Google. If you’re not on the first page you won’t get the business.
- Make your website work hard! It should not just be a cute brochure. It should convert Looky Loos to sales. Collect information about visitors. Drive business to your landing pages & shopping carts so visitors get what they need. It can schedule your workforce, share documents, track time sheets or more. It should link to all your social media sites. With these solutions, your site is now saving you time and earning you more money.
- Use a blog as a hub for social media, directing comments on Facebook, Linked in or Twitter to your blog posts.
- Create or promote events so clients get to know you,
- Build webinars or videos to educate clients on how you can help them.
7. Create Strategic Alliances.
We have ad agencies who need our agency to provide social media management or writing while their in-house staff design campaigns. Or they have us design while they handle media buys and we create landing pages on the web, or produce television commercials for them.
Who could be a strategic alliance that needs your services, teams of experts, or products the same as ad agencies need ours? It is great to develop a symbiotic relationship that furthers growth for you and your partners.
Guest post written by, Allison Bliss of Allison Bliss Consulting. If you need expert help making these strategies work for your business, take a look at her packages of marketing & communications services .
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