Is there a best way to market a business?
I have been reading many articles this week all suggesting that a certain way is the best way to market your business and I can see how this can distract business owners from their marketing focus and encourage them to try anything and everything to get a new customer.
This is fine if you have huge amounts of time and money to spend, as any new customers can be a good thing for some businesses. However many of of us have limited resources for our marketing in terms of time and budget.
I am keen for business owners to know what channels work for them, how they effectively build traction for their business and know their cost of aquisition. Are you aware of the level of investment needed in your marketing activity, and where, to provide you the likely return of a new customer?
What is the best way to market your business? Online, offline?
Well it really depends!
Firstly, consider who do you want as your customers? Can you profile your favourite, best, preferred customers? Are there common characteristics? This could be traditional demographics, it may be a niche or vertical market or is it the buyer persona? The latter is always interesting, as is this the person who leans towards you first or, if different, the person with the purse strings?
Which marketing activities will help pull your ideal customers towards you with interest? I encourage you to do some great market research, with your ideal customer segment, to truly understand your target market, what do your buyers do or think when considering a purchase of your product or service and where do they hang out.
For example, establish answers to questions such as; What are you thinking or looking for when you consider a service like mine? What do you expect from buying my product or service? What would be a successful outcome for you of working with me? When you brought a service similar to mine in the past, what did you gain that you had not considered?
Understanding your target customer will help you ‘fish in the right pond’ with the right tools and messaging. For example, if your target customer reads a certain publication, then perhaps PR in that publication should be your focus? If you target customer is rarely online, then why invest heavily with digital marketing? Maybe your target customer is on Facebook most of the day, then of course a consideration for your marketing spend is with adverts on Facebook?
I love using the Business Model Canvas with my clients as a one page strategic view of the business. The right hand side is very much related to your marketing. It encourages you to consider which channels you will best use to take your value proposition to your preferred customer segments.
There is no one marketing activity that best suits all businesses and the key is good research and focus. Without both, you are likely to be wasting some of your hard earned money.
One of my recommended reads is ‘Traction’ by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. This helps you to consider 19 methods of building traction for your business. It encourages you to consider all 19, test a few and focus on one or two. One of the main messages for me is to not dismiss a marketing activity for your business because of how you buy. For example, you may not wish to run a telesales campaign because you don’t like receiving such calls yourself, however it may be the right channel for you?
Reminder: we all have limited resources in terms of time and money for our marketing, so how are you maximising yours?
As part of my 50+ question knowledge base on my website, I have a section titled ‘Marketing to generate more leads‘ with currently a dozen questions looking at the critical area of our business. After all, if we can’t market our business, then how will customers find out us?
Also, check out my recent ‘Zoom with….’ roundtable on the subject of Marketing, where I asked a couple of topical ‘marketing’ related questions to a group of experts