It’s estimated that every day we are exposed to between 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements; this includes print, radio and TV ads, brand labels, online ads and the many other ways we see company logos and promotions. You need to think about this when you strategically plan your markting.
You’re probably thinking that is a crazy number and isn’t possible. But your brain protects you and filters out most of them. Less than 100 get past this, and some for less than half a second.
On top this advertising bombardment, consumers are becoming incredibly cynical toward advertising. People trust online peer reviews more than a business’s advertising. So how do you make it through the clutter?
The crux of marketing is putting the right product, in the right place, at the right price, at the right time. Your job as a marketer is to attract people to your product or service, give them the motivation to act and buy it.
First up marketing should be viewed as an investment in your business. This doesn’t mean you need an eye-watering marketing budget. But rather that you take the time out of your business to strategically plan your marketing.
Many business owners get caught up in the wording – do they need a marketing strategy or a marketing plan. Both have important roles to play, so you need to consider the elements of each.
This doesn’t mean you need to produce two large documents that collect dust on the shelf! Rather that you have thought about the key areas and plan out the best spend of your marketing dollars.
Strategic marketing is the ‘why’ behind your business, the ‘what’ and ‘how’ you deliver. It’s the thinking part of your marketing. It gives you an overall destination. The marketing planning focusses on the execution – the doing. It’s the road map with all the directions on how to achieve your goals. It includes all the campaigns, events and marketing tactics.
A lot of small and medium businesses tack on marketing activity as an afterthought. They do it in fits and bursts when they have a spare five minutes in the month. They get approached for sponsorship or radio adverts or newspaper adverts and agree to them as they sound like a promising idea. And they very well might be. But we urge you to take a moment and think about your overall marketing goals and whether that activity will provide the best bang for your buck.
When businesses are reactive rather than proactive they are missing out on the power of effective marketing when it is planned strategically to support what your business does and where you want your business to go.
So how is your marketing doing? An important part of any marketing planning is to review how your current efforts are tracking. Ask yourself:
- Are the numbers of leads, sales and new business opportunities increasing, staying the same or declining? This will give you an indication of how well your marketing activity is going.
- Is your market changing? Growing or shrinking and how is this affecting your business and clients? You need to be aware of what’s going on outside of your business so you can innovate and adapt to changing environments and evolving customer needs.
- Which of your marketing activities are working well? Do you know how new clients or sales came about? This can help you direct your marketing spending.
- Are your products or services making the expected revenue? Do you know your gross profit margin and are you happy with it?
- Are there other marketing activities that you could try? When should you start?
Overall, the most effective marketing and planning strategy is when it is done from your client’s perspective. It’s vital to know your tribe and connect with them.
With careful planning, being authentic and telling a story that resonates with your audience you can make a significant difference to your marketing efforts.