Everything in moderation…

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Marketing: tradition or tech and where to begin – top 3 starting points

As we push further into the digital age of marketing, never before has the choice been so great, spreading the word so cost effective, getting our presence felt so easy…

And yet, businesses still struggle with getting great results from their marketing. 

Because for all its simplicity, it’s complicated.

But it doesn’t need to be. The ancient saying ‘everything in moderation’ rings as true today as when it was first scribed. It’s all about balance. Technology is fantastic, it can save time (automated mailers and social media, on-line diaries, booking systems, finance and credit control…) but it takes a real person to decide what they want out of their business first, and that then determines the way forward.

So, there is all this amazing automation at our fingertips – but you don’t need every last one of them. You do, however, need a balanced approach. Tradition before tech – make a plan. That involves a lot of manual preparation, but once it’s done, you’ll know exactly what tech to choose.

Let’s call it – pre-marketing. That is, before you get to do the fun activities (social media, adverts, customer trials, freebies, competitions, launches, websites etc), you need to develop the recipe for success.

The recipe starts with my top three tips for getting prepared:

  1. Message

In pre-marketing terms, if I had to choose one thing to get right, from the start, it would be the message.

Without an engaging message, you’re not going to attract your ideal customer; you’re not going to get a chance to speak to them about your offering, or tell them how you can help them improve a particular situation; you won’t get to discuss cost or how they can repeat purchase; they will never know how they can influence others, how they can shout about your brand, how they can give you valuable feedback to improve your offering and grow your business opportunities…

You will be in a constant swirl of trying to explain yourself. Sure, you can put together a quick fix message, automate it, and every so often you’ll hit gold; or – you could spend time upfront getting your message right, test it, hone it, and then automate it… and enjoy a bumper harvest of interest every time.

  1. Capacity

If sorting out the message is going to take pole position, you need to quickly follow up with knowing your capabilities. But once you get the right message hitting home, generating interest, and more importantly, enquiries, you need to get operational. How will you handle the volume? Again, automation will help you out enormously here, but what about the bespoke cases, the trickier queries? You’re into sales territory now and so you need to consider in your plan the human element – how many customers are you targeting? How will you reach them? Who will deliver your service? Who will ensure your customers get the best experience possible, to enable them shout about you from the rooftops?

  1. Plan

Finally you need to think about your plan of action – and write it down.

To get the plan started, you need to ask questions of your offering – why, who, what, when, where? And then write it down. Use the Marketing Mix (The 7 P’s) as your checklist here (Product, Price, Promotion, Place, People, Physical Evidence, Process) as the basis of your plan.

And that’s when the magic starts to happen. Quickly you’ll see exactly what extra help is needed; and because you have a handle on price, you can easily budget for the way forward – which will also whittle down your tech choices, and help you prioritise what you want, what you need, and how you’re going to best get there.

So if you struggle with successful marketing, remember to step away from the action for a minute, and remember Pre Marketing. That is:

  • Question
  • Formulate
  • Test
  • Question
  • Plan
  • Write

 

Susan Branigan Marketing works with SME’s across Scotland and the UK, to help them unblock the message, plan their marketing, and get the results they want, with confidence and creativity.

If you want to know more about how marketing done right does work, then Contact Me today for a no obligation chat.

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