Imagine a traditional retailer sets up a shop selling the finest eyewear. With no marketing, how will they ensure their desired customers know about their business and the products it sells? If you don’t have any experience as a marketer, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Every small business owner should think about how they’re planning to market their brand. But first, what is marketing and what does it achieve? Why is it even important?
In basic terms, marketing is promoting, selling and advertising your products and services to customers.
Marketing creates profits, targets the right customers and builds strong customer relationships. It’s highly important for small business owners as this is how they will sustain their short term sales objectives to keep the business alive and running. Moreover, they are able to expand and grow their customer reach.
It can be hard for small business owners with little prior experience to get a grasp on effective marketing quickly, as it consists of learning about various principles including strategies, concepts and tactics.
However, nobody becomes a ‘master of marketing’ overnight. It takes time and dedication to perfect the craft.
Let’s start with the basics.
Develop your brand
In order to start marketing a brand, you must know your business inside out.
Simply put, how can you implement a marketing plan if you do not know what your business stands for?
Start by figuring out your brand characteristics and create a personality for your business.
How do you want others to perceive you?
You can even get really specific with your brand development by thinking of which adjectives you want people to describe you by.
Hack: Start jotting down adjectives to describe your business. Is your business brand impactful, entrepreneurial, inspirational or innovative?
Build a strategy
After becoming your own brand creator, you can start building a strategy for action.
Hack: Answer these fundamental questions from Marketing Basics: The 101 Guide.
- Who is your target audience?
- What actions do you want your customers to take in relation to your product or service?
- How will you encourage your customers to take these desired steps?
The importance of a strategy is to give your business a foundation to work with.
This gives a business direction and motive. Start by getting to know your audience and understand their needs.
A strong marketer will show customers how the business meets their needs and gives them solutions to their problems.
Work with a creative mindset
Marketing runs on ideas.
This means that marketers need to constantly think of new and engaging ideas to generate interest in the brand.
Creativity is what helps businesses thrive in such a competitive market.
Advertisements, flyers, posters, websites all require you to be creative. Take a vow to stay inspired and think outside the box for new perspectives.
Hack: Channel your inner creativity by engaging in artistic activities such as writing, drawing or design.
Report and learn
Good marketers make things happen. They bring their ideas to life.
After you create a brand, build a strategy and adopt a creative mindset for your business, you then come to execution.
How will you make it happen?
The final stage is also about reports and learning from the findings. What worked and what didn’t work? Report on your findings and understand the outcomes.
We all go wrong somewhere in the experimentation process but being successful comes from learning from your mistakes.
Final Hack: Keep a journal, notepad or progress report to track the outcomes of your objectives.
Finally, get comfortable with making mistakes, that’s how you learn.
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