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How to Get the Most Out Of Marketing Your Business

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When it comes to utilizing any marketing within your business, you want to ensure that you get the biggest possible return. You want to make sure that you are getting value for money, and you want to ensure that you are using the right marketing methods to appeal to and attract your target audience. Trying to reach everyone everywhere is not realistic, and it is not achievable, so you need to narrow down your efforts as much as you can.

Who Are Your Target Audience?

Knowing your target audience is essential. You have to know who you are appealing to, who you are reaching, when, and how. Not all mediums work for target audiences, so you need to know exactly who your audience is. For example, are they small business owners, are they stay-at-home parents, or are they older retirees? You have to know in depth who your target audience is to ensure that you get the most out of any marketing you utilize. Once you know who your audience is, you will be able to create a target and customer profile. A profile is essential within your business as it shapes everything you do and everything that you offer. You will use your profile when moving forwards with anything you implement in your business, so do not underestimate how important profiling is.

Conduct Market Research

Now you are fully aware of who your target audience is, you have to establish what marketing they respond to. For example, do you get the best results by utilizing social media marketing, or do click-throughs work?  You can do both primary and secondary market research to find out what marketing you need to apply. Primary research is what you do for yourself; this is grassroots research, so, for example, you could possibly ask customers both new and potential how they like to be informed about your services and/or products. 

To gather the information you require, you could use a variety of methods, including telephone research, email research, or social media polls. If you don’t fancy doing the research yourself, there are plenty of companies that can do it on an ad hoc basis for you. As well as primary research, you can also utilize secondary research. Using secondary research is a quicker way to help you establish what your audience responds to, but it may not always be the latest and most up-to-date information around. You can utilize secondary research by making use of research others have conducted. You can buy data and information from other non-competing companies, and you can utilize shared databases. It may also be possible to obtain the information you require from surveys and data held at libraries.

Competitor Research and Analysis

You will want to take a close look at what your competitors have done both directly and indirectly. Learning from your competitor’s successes and failures will ensure that you use the right marketing methods and channels for your business. To find out what your competitors have been up to, you need to utilize everything from visiting their premises (if they have one) to checking out their website and social media presence. When looking at competitors’ marketing, it is always wise to see what type of language they used. Language in marketing can often go unnoticed, but it is important to speak the language your audience responds to. For example, click here for more information if you are marketing to young audiences as you can utilize more slang and more emojis. Whereas if you are marketing to older audiences, you will probably want to utilize more traditional lines of communication. How you get across your message, as well as what you say, is vitally important to ensuring your marketing is a success, and this is why it is so important to know as much as you can about your target audience. The more information you can gather about your customers, the more personalized, targeted, and successful your marketing will be.

In addition to looking at a competitors’ marketing efforts, you will also want to research what they are doing right and what they are missing the mark on. For example, if they are responsive to messages on social media platforms, you need to be too. If they offer or have offered a discount or similar through their marketing, was it successful, and how long did their success last? Gather as much information about your competitors marketing efforts and overall running efficiency as you can, and from there, you can ensure that your marketing can be more targeted and more successful than anything they may utilize.

What Are You Aiming To Achieve?

Lots of businesses turn to marketing for different reasons, so exactly why are you utilizing marketing? Are you looking to find new customers and audiences, or are you looking to re-engage with existing customers and audiences? If you do not know what you want to achieve out of each marketing campaign that you introduce, then you will simply be wasting both your time and money. Decide what you want to achieve before you part with any money, and don’t lose sight of your targets and goals when integrating marketing. It can be hard to stay consistent when utilizing a variety of marketing mediums and channels. It is important to have clear, realistic, defined, and reachable targets as to what you want to achieve from your marketing. If you don’t set targets, you will not be pushing your business forwards and growing it, and you will most definitely find yourself stagnant and under pressure from competitors. Your marketing budget will only get you so far, so do not try to spread it too thin.

Create a Marketing Plan

Once you know who you are marketing to and how you then need to create a marketing plan. The importance of a marketing plan cannot be underestimated. Without a plan, how will you know which marketing you are using and when? Within your plan, you should incorporate both short-term and long-term marketing methods. For example, are you going to run a quick social media campaign within the next 3-4 weeks, or are you going to focus on email marketing over the next 12 months? Within your marketing plan, your customer data and research will be heavily relied on for moving forwards, so make sure your data is up to date.

When you create a marketing plan, you get to clearly see what you are doing and when. Within a marketing plan, you should include targets and a budget. Your budget should be as accurate as possible to ensure you are getting the most value for your money, and your targets should be clearly defined, achievable and realistic. Marketing targets are often overlooked within a marketing plan, but they are essential. For example, a good target would be to aim to reach 100 new potential customers through social media over the next week.  Once you have a target in place, you can make it actionable and achievable. Having targets in place ensures that you keep any marketing you do relatable and focused. All targets have to have a timescale attached, your marketing efforts cannot go on offer forever, and you need end dates.

Evaluate Campaign and Marketing Results

Of course, ultimately, you won’t know how well a marketing campaign has done until you analyze the results. So, keep in mind the importance of follow-up marketing and of looking at which marketing mediums have brought your audience to your door and which ones haven’t. Evaluation now will also help you achieve more from future budgets. When you evaluate results achieved from marketing, you get to see what you can utilize and even improve on for future campaigns. For example, is social media working for you, and is utilizing ads on social media getting you results? If so, then create regular engaging campaigns that may include giveaways. Always ensure you follow up campaigns that work; being a one-hit-wonder will do nothing for the longevity of your business.

Evaluating results from campaigns is just as important as anything else you do, so do not skip this step. When you learn from previous marketing efforts, you learn how to budget more accurately, and you also learn how to get the best value for money. Ideally, you will be monitoring marketing and campaign results on a daily to weekly basis, especially if you are running a campaign that lasts longer than a month.

Be Realistic

You will have a set budget you have to work with, and this budget will only get you so far. With any marketing you implement within your business, it is essential that you are realistic about what you will achieve out of anything you apply. Results will be better when you put in the research beforehand, so don’t underestimate how important continued research is. How much you spend on reaching a target audience or customer base has to be accounted for. 

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Sean Jacobson

I'm Sean, a former HR and business consultant providing you insights into the business world for Leader to Leader.

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