The new year presents an opportunity for businesses to clarify their marketing strategy, sharpen their message and stretch their marketing dollars.
Business owners who do not plan their success will miss out on potential customers and waste their marketing budget on chasing ideas that do not serve them or help them grow their business.
The key to boosting your chances of surviving and thriving is to have clarity, consistency and to make every marketing dollar count by only focusing on opportunities right for your business.
Stretching your marketing dollars in 2013 comes down to five simple things:
Know Your Ideal ClientsEliminate waste and a ‘spray and pray’ approach in your marketing by being clear about who your ideal client is and where you can find them.
Spend time to profile the clients who inspire you, who pay on time and who allows you to do your best work with them. Ask them which social networking platforms they use, what they read, what they listen to and what they watch. Don’t assume you know the answers.
- Use Cost Effective Communication
Some of the most cost effective ways to communicate with your ideal clients are via social media and getting free publicity.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are free and each has millions of users. Provide something of value that showcases your expertise and reply to comments on your pages.
Publicity is very valuable, gives you credibility and is easy to get if you nurture the right relationships, have effective writing skills and remember to follow up. Outsource this function if you don’t have the skills in-house.
- Be Found Online
Optimise your website to be search engine friendly and be found online by potential clients when they search for words and phrases related to your business.
List your business with free online directories like Bloo, Hotfrog and Google Maps or use Google Adwords to advertise your business online.
- Use Strategic Partners
The right strategic partners will help your stretched marketing dollars deliver a higher result through joint promotions.
Pick partners who deliver services complimentary to your business but who are not in competition with you. Choose partners carefully, ensure they are reputable, deliver on their promises and will add value to your brand image.
- Test and Measure Your Success
Lastly, remember to set up criteria for every marketing campaign you plan and test the results you get.
You will see what worked well and what needs to be changed the next time. A simple question like: "How did you hear about us?" can transform your business. Testing removes assumptions and boils everything down to facts.
Business owners who consistently apply these principles will not only stretch their marketing budgets but will be more successful in attracting clients to their business.