It’s all too easy to think ‘Right, we need to do some marketing’ and dive right into advertising in the local paper, or producing some leaflets, or setting up a facebook page.
But how will you know if it’s the right thing to do? You could just be wasting your time and money.
It’s a really good idea to clear some space in your diary, and spend a few hours really getting to grips with a few fundamentals. For example:
- What exactly are you offering?
- Who is it aimed at?
- Who are your competitors?
- How are you different?
- Do you have a variety of products that suit different groups of people?
- What are their concerns?
- Where will you find these people?
- What are your key messages?
Once you know all these things, you can start to put together a plan of attack. The most important thing to remember is that your messages and communication channels need to be relevant to your audience. It’s no good having a facebook page just because everyone else seems to. What are you going to say? Are your customers using facebook, and will they find your content interesting while they’re on facebook? Don’t forget, many people use it to ‘escape’ from work, so if your messages are too business-like they may get overlooked.
What about local advertising? Are your customers all local people? Do they read the local paper? Do you have any newsworthy items that could get you some free PR coverage?
Could you do a leaflet drop instead? Are there any other local publications such as community magazines?
Would the trade press be more appropriate? Do you have a national audience in a niche market?
By taking some time to figure this all out, you can save yourself time and money, and generate income a lot more quickly.