Business opportunities won’t fall into your lap. So here are ten tips on how to achieve better results through successful marketing:
1) Establish the core strengths of your business: what makes you better than your competitors? What are the unique advantages of your products and services? In order to gain the edge over your competitors and improve the power of your brand, take an objective look at your business.
2) Know your competition: research your competition to find out who you’re up against, what they do well, how much they charge, and what you can do better. Regularly monitor their moves to keep up to date.
3) Know your customers: put customers at the heart of what you do and gain a clear understanding of their needs. What drives your customers? What are their behaviours, perceptions and motivations? To ensure success, break your markets into smaller groups, defined by different customer needs, instead of by products or services.
4) Find more customers: and retain the loyalty of existing customers. It’s easier to sell to existing customers so build relationships and reward regular business. Find new ways to connect and communicate with your market, especially the new and evolving digital technologies and communications channels.
5) Set the right price: get your pricing right to maximise your profitability. If you get involved only in price competition, you could be stuck in a race to the bottom. The perceived value for money of your product or service can be just as vital as its financial price.
6) Explore new products and services: every business needs to find new opportunities as a way to cut through competitive markets and bring in more customers. It may be just improvements to existing products and marketing them in a different way – or it could be something that opens up an entirely untapped market.
7) Define your key messages: what customer benefits do you need to put across? Define your marketing proposition, then target the right offer, to the right customer at the right time, using relevant and personalised messages.
8) Analyse your current marketing activity: you need to know what’s working and what’s not. Customers won’t buy if they don’t know about you, or if you put across the wrong image. Don’t lose sight of what really matters or mistake movement for progress. Although today the Internet is critical to business, use whichever mix of traditional and new platforms works best for you.
9) Set targets: set yourself some measurable, practical targets to improve your bottom line and customer satisfaction – such as better brand recognition, higher revenue, bigger market share, improved margins, increased loyalty. Focus on what’s realistic, practical and achievable, then monitor to see a tangible return on your investment.
10) Outsource your marketing: hire experienced marketing staff only when you need them and not when you don’t. Gain access to marketing expertise, but without the overheads of employing someone in-house. Get the most relevant and up to date advice and support, together with bright ideas to move your business forward. Outsourced marketing works best when it’s a partnership.