Would you try to drive a car with only half an engine? It wouldn’t get you very far. So why drive your marketing until the engine’s fully built?
Every marketing activity needs an engine: a solid framework of planning, researching and testing. Without this it simply won’t take your business where it needs to go.
Many SME owners are tempted to cut corners when it comes to marketing. There’s no time, there’s no spare cash, they’re simply impatient, or they don’t understand the value of optimising a campaign through quality researching and testing. But consider this: President Obama raised an additional $60 million using A/B Testing (source: event360). So imagine what it could do for you.
As a start-up SME, you’ve got a lot to think about: from financing and insurance to sourcing equipment and finding a premises. But you also need to prioritise marketing, because without it, you’ll be missing the key ingredient: customers.
At this early stage of the game, when your cash flow is likely to be limited, it’s important to first focus on knowing your target market (Target Persona) and building brand awareness with them. Invest what you can in developing a strong brand and getting a bulletproof strategic marketing plan in place. Then leverage as much ‘free’ marketing as you can – online and with some good old-fashioned networking.
So if you’re starting up a new business, here’s a checklist of marketing essentials to add to your to-do list:
Great marketing is key to the success of any business. A well-planned marketing strategy can get you noticed, help you attract and retain customers, and generally take your business to the top of its game.
Marketing has always been a specialised skill – but as technology alters our communication channels, it’s becoming even more so. The marketplace is noisy and crowded, and getting a clear message through to potential customers requires expert manipulation of the growing range of marketing avenues.
If you’re running a small to medium enterprise (SME), you’re probably either managing your marketing yourself (possibly with poor to average results), or trying to find room on the payroll for dedicated marketing staff. But there’s a third option here – both cost-effective and results-driven – and that’s to outsource to a specialist marketing agency.
Good planning underpins all successful ventures. Before we head off on holidays or to a suburb we’re unfamiliar with, we plot the route on a map. Good planning prevents us getting lost. Before a team gets out onto the sports field, they devise a strategy, or ‘game plan’. Planning increases their chances of winning. Even a great night out begins with a bit of venue and transport planning – just to maximise the fun to be had.
It’s no different at work: if you’re running a small to medium enterprise, good planning will guide you along the path to success, positive customer engagement and ultimately, profitability.
I recently wrote an article for the Australian Businesswomen’s Network in which I likened a marketing plan to architectural plans drawn up before a house is built. (Read the piece here: http://www.abn.org.au/blog/building-home-building-marketing-plan-common-think/).
In the last few days of the trade show marketing and management process prior to the trade show starting, most of the organising should be done. However, here are some of the final things you should be considering in the final lead up to your trade show;