Having a marketing strategy in place for your business is essential in today’s competitive and constantly-evolving business culture. Whether you have an online business, a bricks-and-mortar store or a combination of the two, your marketing plan is either bringing you business at a measured cost, or costing you that business and potentially leaving money on the table. If you are still utilizing the same marketing strategies from launching your business 10 years ago, chances are your methods are outdated. If you are spending inordinate amounts of money on marketing and not seeing a return on investment in terms of revenue or an increased customer database, it may be time to consider revamping your strategy.
Possible Outdated Strategies
Depending on where you are in your business journey, what worked for you at your initial launch or growth phase may not work when you hit the dreaded plateau. This is where business becomes challenging or, even worse, business stagnates altogether. For example, maybe you employed a super-aggressive pre-launch strategy via print advertising. You may have tried basic marketing strategies like mailers, printed newsletters, flyers, or other marketing materials.
Quite possibly all these strategies combined may have caught the attention of your target demographic and enabled you to have a stellar launch. But maybe that launch was back in 2004. If you are still approaching a digital design agency with the same marketing tactics that you were utilizing back then, you are definitely leaving cash on the table.
From a marketing perspective, the world has changed drastically over the past 10 years and it continues to evolve at a frenetic pace. What produced results as little as a year ago may not accomplish the same results today. As a small-business owner, you may be a one- person show juggling many competing priorities. You might have a small team, but not enough time or expertise to dedicate to a complete marketing overhaul. Whatever your challenges may be, there are ways that you can address them. Let’s talk about “Possible Fixes for Your Marketing Strategy”:
1) Outsource Your Marketing Plan
Perhaps the best solution for most businesses is to outsource your marketing plan. If you don’t have the manpower in your existing team, this is definitely something to consider. If you have the budget and you are ready to make the investment, do not just hire the first company that comes up on your Google search. As with anything else, you need to do your homework. Ensure that you are hiring a marketing firm that understands your immediate needs and what you want to accomplish. Another thing to consider is marketing firms that specialize in a specific industry or niche. They might come at a premium price tag, but the return on investment may be worth it for your business in the long run.[Text Wrapping Break]
2) Focus on Your Story
Studies have shown that consumer behavior is driven by many different factors. One of these factors suggests that a large percentage of consumers are driven by emotion. Your product may stir up feelings of nostalgia in your potential customers. Emotions are a powerful tool that businesses can harness. Many customers are driven by the “why” behind your business, not just “what” it is that you are selling. Craft your “why” and weave it into the vision statement and purpose behind your company and products. This story will reverberate with your target audience and can lead to potential increased sales and revenue. [Text Wrapping Break]
3) Social & Environmental Responsibility
This is something that has become increasingly important over the past few years. Make it a point to get involved in your local community. Participate in your local merchant’s guild activities. Recycle as much as you can. If there is a charity or social cause that you support that aligns with your business, let your customers know about it. People love the idea of giving back and supporting businesses that are socially, ethically and environmentally responsible. [Text Wrapping Break]
4) Social Media
Whether you manage your social media channels in-house or outsource, having a carefully-planned and purposeful social media strategy is key. Pick the platforms that work for your business. You don’t need to be everywhere- you just need to be where your target demographic is. If you choose to employ a marketing firm, social media should be part of their overall strategy.