Contracting your marketing out to a specialised agency is always a step in the right direction for an SME. It’s an investment in the future of your business – and will undoubtedly help build your brand and drive growth.
In order to get the best value from your marketing and really maximise your ROI, SME owners need to work in partnership with their marketing agency. You have the business expertise, we’ve got the marketing nous. Working together, we can create high-impact marketing that will get results.
The ultimate aim of all marketing is to attract quality leads and drive sales for your business. To do this, you need a strategy that cuts through all the other marketing ‘noise’, makes you stand out from your competitors, and ensures that your target market think of you first when making purchasing decisions.
While a single, brilliant campaign may get the phone ringing for a short while, as soon as the campaign ends, you’ll be forgotten and sales will fall again. When it comes to marketing, there’s no quick ‘magic bullet’. There is, however, a way to ‘bulletproof’ your strategy for great results: create a campaign that builds and maintains momentum. Over time, this provides more stability in your marketing funnel with less ups and downs, generating consistent results and keeping that phone ringing.
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/).