Just because you launched a new business does not make it successful. The books are filled with well meaning and very intelligent entrepreneurs who launched a business on a great idea but failed to complete the mission because of an inadequate marketing plan. Building the product or having a great idea is the easy part; what is difficult is attracting customers to your site or product. Effective marketing is a must for any business and it can be the one thing that has the power to make or break a business before anything else. Marketing is what actually brings in the dollars as it is the tool you will use to let people know about the availability of your product or service. It is imperative that you get close to them and communicate to them why they need what you can provide. Marketing is the means through which you reach out to them with that message.
Keys to Successful Marketing
While marketing in general can mean advertising and selling, there are some aspects that can make it successful. The entrepreneur or business owner needs to look at the whole picture. It takes a lot of careful analysis and looking at the business as a whole to make a marketing campaign successful. Think about your product in relation to competitor’s products, your customers and the trends in the region. Think about how you can best communicate why those interested in your product might be interested in buying it. There are 5 questions that every business should use to build a marketing campaign.
- What makes your product or business idea unique?
- Who are your target audience/customers?
- How do you top your competitor’s products?
- What message do you want to send to your target customers?
- How do you plan on distributing the product or service to get it in the hands of customers?
Doing some research and answering these questions about your target audience will help you choose which types of media both online and off that will be useful in reaching them.
Making the Connection: Online and Offline Marketing
It can be challenging to incorporate both online and offline marketing strategies. But once the two can be combined appropriately positive results can be generated and this will mean more revenue. The two can be very complimentary.
- URL Tracking – When you do use various offline media such as pamphlets, business cards or even outdoor advertising, always add your company’s URL to each one. These offer customers a way to connect with you online.
- Social Media and Traffic – When exhibiting at various tradeshows or expos it is always good to give things away such as pens with the business name and logo on them. Just add some online information such as the URL to your company blog or the business’ twitter account or facebook page. Always give a customer more opportunities to connect with the business.
- QR Codes – One of the fastest growing marketing techniques involves mobile technology. By using QR codes a business can establish a solid connection with their customers. The barcode can allow someone who is offline to use their smart phone to scan the code which will perform a specific preprogrammed action such as go to a website, display a text message or show a video. QR tools can be a very useful tool to link online and offline efforts.
However you choose to market your business after conducting research about your target audience, it is important that it becomes an integral part of your business plan. For the small business who will want to pursue venture capital funding at a later date a solid marketing plan will need to be a natural part of the overall business plan.