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How a marketing strategy will help your small business

Learn how a marketing strategy will change your business forever!

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Marketing strategy. They’re two scary words, right? Well, I’m here to tell you not to be scared of them! Whenever we’re faced with terminology we don’t understand, our first instincts are to run for the hills.

But I’ve got you. In this blog post, I break down what a marketing strategy is, as well as how you put one together for your business. This one’s best read with a cuppa (or wine, if it’s the evening) and some cake. Ready?

What is a marketing strategy?

A marketing strategy is your roadmap to getting the results that mean sales for your business. And that’s why it’s so important.

It helps you take a “helicopter view” of what you want to achieve for your business. That means you get out of the weeds and look at your marketing as a whole.

A strategy also helps you to decide the marketing tactics (or tools) you will use to help you get the results you want. A tactic could be a series of Facebook posts, a newsletter, writing a blog post (ahem), hosting a webinar… You have options!

Who knew a marketing strategy is simply a roadmap to getting better results? #MinalsTips Click To Tweet

Now, here’s the thing…

Lots of small businesses confuse marketing and promotion. In fact, promotion is one part of marketing.

Marketing is actually made up of the 4Ps.

  • Product (or service)
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

You need to understand all four Ps to help you effectively market your business.

Let’s break the 4Ps down

You know me, I don’t like to spout marketing jargon and leave you to figure it out for yourself. So, let’s clear up each of the 4Ps.

Product

This is what you sell. It can be a product or service. (The 4Ps and 1S just doesn’t trip off the tongue as well!) When you think about your product, think about the specific problem it solves for your target audience.

Does it save them time? Does it fulfil an emotional need? Does it help them live healthier lives? You get the gist.

It’s really important to figure this out – it helps you communicate effectively when you come to promote your product.

Price

Have you sat down and thought about how you price your product? As a solo, micro or small business, you need to make a certain amount of money for your business to function. So, you need to work out your pricing strategy.

What should you charge to be able to pay your bills? It really comes down to that. And sometimes, reassuringly expensive actually works.

Don’t undersell your product or service!

Place

This is all about where you want to sell your product. In a shop, online, both? Through distributors or directly to your end customer?

This is going to help focus your efforts. So, even if you think you want to sell in a shop and online, you might try online first and build a good customer base. Then you use the information you have on your customers’ locations to decide where you might add a shop.

If you sell services, like me, you are likely to sell online.

Promotion

OK, here we are – the place that most small business owners start. Let’s face it, you have a million things to think about and setting up a Facebook or Instagram account is easy.

Promotion is so much more than that though. You have a plethora of marketing tactics at your disposal – you need to work out which ones will be most effective for you.

Start with the free stuff, by all means. Why not?  But know that you should treat marketing your business as an investment, so be prepared to pay for tools. Just make sure it’s the right set of tools!

I just learned about the 4Ps of marketing. You should too! #MinalsTips Click To Tweet

Why should you have a marketing strategy?

I know you’re asking yourself this. After all, what I’ve just told you sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? And you just don’t have time for it.

You know me, I’m always upfront and honest. The TL:DR version is – your marketing won’t work if you don’t have a strategy.

Here are some things that will happen as a result:

You’ll waste time.

Time you don’t have. We’re spinning lots of plates, us small businesses. Imagine creating a ton of content and none of it resulting in sales. This leads me onto…

You’ll be using the spray and pray method

Just put it out there – all of it, everywhere. How often have you done that with little thought to focussing your efforts? How far did it get you?

You’ll waste money

Money you don’t have. Money that could be used for something more important – maybe giving a valued team member a pay rise; dammit, maybe actually paying yourself!

Tot up how much money you’ve spent on marketing activities that have been a complete waste. What else could you have done with that money?

You’ll wander aimlessly

Remember that roadmap I talked about? Your marketing strategy will help you define it. Without a strategy, you’ll pick up and try things without really knowing if they’ll work. And let’s face it, you’ll get frustrated, demotivated and generally be unhappy.

Life’s too short – you have a fantastic product. It’s your passion, you know it can make a difference to your target audience’s life. Now is not the time to take shortcuts!

You’ve read this far and you’re nodding your head. Now for the good stuff. Keep reading!

What should your marketing strategy include?

I think you might have heard me talk about this before. I do talk about it often. That’s because I want you to succeed! So, let’s get you started.

Marketing goals

Arrghhh – not goals! Yes, goals.

Here’s the thing…

Not just any goals. Look at how your marketing goals help you to achieve your overall business goals. It’s really important. Everything you do needs to contribute to your business goals. That includes your marketing.

So, set some marketing goals. They might be:

  • Increase website traffic by 20% by the end of the year. Because most of your sales come from your website.
  • Grow email list by 15% by the end of the year. Because you know that your subscribers turn into customers.
  • Write 30 blogs posts by the end of the year. Because you know that your blog posts lead to enquiries to work with you.

Your positioning

My what, now? This is all about why you? What makes your product or service the thing they need to buy? What makes you the person they want to do business with?

If you don’t know the answer to this, ask some of your best customers why they chose you.

Figure out what’s unique about you and your business. And it’s not that you’re:

  • Sustainable
  • Innovative
  • Have great customer service
  • Have the best delivery options

Or any other type of claim your competitors can make. This has to be something that they can’t say they are!

Know your target audience

Who do you want to buy your product or service? The number of times I’ve heard “everyone” – I can’t even tell you!

Get specific. If there’s more than one type of person, that’s fine. But you need to understand each audience and know what makes them tick.

Start by looking at existing customers. What do they have in common? Can you group them (segment is the marketing term) so you can identify patterns?

Where do they hang out?

You need to be in the same places as your target audience is. This is so important. It stops you from wasting time on places you will never find them.

Look at online and in the real world. And it’s important because…

How will you reach them?

The place you started right? The tactics you’ve wasted time on because the people you want to sell to aren’t there!

Leave this to last and you’ll come up with a list of places that will help you channel your marketing activities through the right places.

It will also help you understand all the marketing tactics you should use in your marketing campaigns. Arrghhh, more scary words.

A marketing campaign is information you push out to pull a response. A consistent message across all your tactics will strengthen that message.
I had no idea that creating a marketing strategy isn't that complicated. Find out how you can create yours. #MinalsTips Click To Tweet

How will your marketing strategy change your business forever?

There are several things your strategy will help you do.

Make better decisions

Knowing where you’re headed will help you choose the right path(s) to help you get there. What do I mean?

You’ll have something to refer to when a business buddy comes to you with an idea they want you to get involved in.

Or you’ll have an answer to that salesperson who wants you to buy advertising space. (Usually at short notice and at the best price!)

Or you’ll know whether that crazy idea you had really fits in with what you want to achieve for your business.

Basically, it makes saying no much easier!

Imagine being able to say no this easily!

Craft your marketing messages

Your marketing message is what you say in your:

  • Social media posts
  • Newsletters
  • Website
  • Flyers
  • Blog posts

Really, in whichever marketing tactic you use. It makes sure you’re consistent in what you say, which means that your target audience really understands your offering.

Understand your “solution”

Yeah, you offer a solution. You might not think it, but your product or service is solving a problem or need for your customers.

Understanding what this is helps you better articulate why you!

Do fewer things, better

It always comes back to time, doesn’t it? You don’t have enough of it, so why create a situation where you’re running around like a blue-arsed fly?

Make the things you do to market your business count. Doing fewer things and doing them really well means you can also have time for the other bits of your business. You know, the accounts, product development, sales… the list goes on.

Get better results and make money

At the end of the day, if your marketing isn’t helping you make money, then why are you doing it? With a marketing strategy, all your activities will have a purpose and that means results!

How do I get started?

I’m glad you asked that question! A lot of this stuff is in your head… and I can help you get it out of there and down on paper. I have the tools and techniques to help you create a brilliant marketing strategy for your business.

All you need to do is decide how much time you want to spend with me doing it. Head over to my coaching packages to find out more.

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