Most business owners are challenged with the basic principles of marketing. Too many skip the process of building a business and marketing plan. Most fail to realize that without a plan, profitable opportunities may be missed due to lack of goal planning. Without quantifiable goals businesses find it hard to stay focus.
Beyond profit goals businesses should also consider expansion, talent procurement, digital impressions, brand campaign launch events, calendar of promotions, competitive advantage, social media calendar, community relations, public relations, training, email marketing, mobile marketing, strategic partnerships and more!
The sad truth is that “they” won’t come just because you built it. It takes a serious amount of tenacity to bring people into your place of business. You’ve got to nurture your business for survival. You have to network and build strong community partnerships because people buy from people they like.
In my years of helping businesses elevate their marketing strategy, here are the top three common challenges they face.
Business owners need help in managing their online presence. We used to rely on yellow books but that is now a thing of the past. Your online presence is important because (according to the Global Digital report) there are 7.395 billion people in the world and 3.4 billion are online – that’s 46%!!!
In America, there are 997 million people and 665 are online – that’s 67%! These numbers are undeniable. Don’t get me started with social media users and the percentage of smart phone users. Let’s just say that online marketing HAS to be a part of your plan.
The question you must ask yourself is how much to budget for online marketing per month. What’s $100 per month if it could put your business in front of a few thousand select and targeted viewers? Newspaper and other print advertising are slowly phasing off the market. TV ads and radio ads are immeasurable unless you’re offering a promotion that you will be able to track.
Business owners need new ideas to attract more clients. To attract new clients, you must do things you’ve never done before. Try going to your competitors’ stores to study what they do that you may be able to replicate. Follow top brands on social media with intent to improve your own. Take better and more thoughtful photos of your products and write better posts. Invest in social media advertising to reach people in your target market. Run ads continuously for as long as you want people to learn about your business. Social media ads should be a part of your marketing budget.
Attend your local Chamber of Commerce networking events and if you are good at public speaking, volunteer to speak at local Rotary Clubs or college classes.
Coming up with new ideas is a lot easier when you are exposed to new environments. Meeting new and like-minded people can help inspire you.
Business owners need to restructure their brand image and message. Consumers buy from companies they trust. Branding is the journey of building trust between product and consumers. To build brand trust, a company must be consistent, honest, informational and must stand for something. You have to communicate well using various platforms such as social media. Fortunately, nowadays, social media is readily available to everyone. Imagine what it must have been like 20 years ago when social media isn’t easy and getting the word out was more tedious and expensive?
Take the time to build a strong brand message. Read up on other companies “about us” section and create something that you can be proud of. After creating your brand message, be sure to always reflect that in everything and every posts you publish online.
Create a list of core values for your company. This is a list of values that you want your employees to abide by. It’s also a great list of values to stick to when evaluating what opportunities would be worth exploring. Decide what kind of message you want to relay through your social media channels. Aim to make a positive impact in the lives of your consumers.
Clients who need help most likely need brand restructuring and more brand exposure. It’s easy to lose sight of the basics once the life of your business takes off. It’s important to spend time creating a marketing plan to help guide you to success.