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An ineffective marketing strategy can force a business into trouble quicker than you can say ‘closed until further notice.’ But never fear, whether your business is getting ahead of itself or failing to plan ahead, there are a few easy tips to get you back on track.
From The Ground Up
For any business the first thing, although it may seem obvious, is to know your product and more importantly know your demographic. Get this wrong and you’ll never get out the starting gate. Too often businesses over-complicate the issue and if this is the case- STOP!
It’s time to get back to basics and start thinking inside the box.
Do your research and brand your business accordingly. Talk to your audience, use social media to interact with them. Listen to what they want and then provide it. Finding the right brand name and logo will give you a good running start and don’t hesitate to work with some creative minds to bring it to life. For businesses who haven’t got this right it’s time to get back to the drawing board.
Now this may sound old fashioned but it’s important to begin with the basics. Flyers, business cards and door to door promotion will get your name out there and will give you a good idea of public response. Trust in the power of word of mouth – it’s not out-dated but one of the most proven and effective market strategies, vital aspect for repeat business. Expansion just can’t continue with a bad reputation.
Get A Leg Up
Take any help and advice you can. As a small to medium size business you will need to work closely with banks and building societies for funding opportunities. Make a business plan for the next 5 years that incorporates achievable marketing strategies. There are many guides available that can help point you in the right direction or if you feel like you’re floundering you may want to consider employing a specialist marketing agency. Whatever you do, make sure your marketing and business plan are aligned as lack of planning will lead to failure.
One of the biggest strategies, and one of the most cost effective, is online social networking and advertising. Sign up to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and start to create a buzz around your brand. Reviews are a good way to get your name out there, so don’t be shy, get your customers to post rave reviews and re-tweet your business’ offers and news.
Create a business blog and offer freebees to new customers. It’s all about content so don’t be afraid to seek some geek expertise for this. It will be worth it as most people favour Google searches to find what they want.
Developing a marketing strategy can be tricky but take your time. Use the resources available and don’t turn your nose up and more low-key forms of advertising; sometimes simple is best.
What strategies does your business use and how effective are they? Let me know.
Hannah is a Journalism graduate who specialises in short story writing. She is a social media and PR pro with expertise in digital marketing. She recommends Strategy Consulting Limited.
Featured image: License: Creative Commons image source
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