A long time ago all marketing was word of mouth and grass roots. Over the years small business owners have turned to the Yellow Pages, Radio, local print advertisements, and more recently, the internet to market their business. What if I told you that while the internet is a HUGE success in your businesses marketing strategy, it should only be a piece of the puzzle.
Creating a marketing plan is similar to creating a mixture in chemistry class. You need the right ingredients, the right amounts of said ingredients, and the right order to add these ingredients to make the mixture work. The same is true of marketing. You can have the best of intentions with your marketing plan, but if the wrong ideas, order of implementation, or if you rely on one item too heavily your ROI can plummet.
What are ways to maximize your ROI, decrease your initial investment cost, and retain new consumers in the process? This is the question every business owner asks when trying to decide on a marketing plan. While I do not attest to having all the answers, I do have a few ideas that can help you out.
1. Don’t get stuck in the ditch. The marketing ditch is where your business ends up when you rely on one marketing method. I ask people to tell me about their marketing strategy and I hear daily “I have a website and an SEO plan”. This alone does not get you new customers. This will help you gain new customers in your area that are currently shopping for your service. This will NOT help you gain new customers NOT looking for your service.
2. Do put together a plan. Subscribe to the idea that by failing to plan you are planning to fail. Create a marketing plan. You want to include several different marketing sources. Also, set a budget and an ideal Return on Investment (ROI) that you would like to see met to continue your plan. Set goals, and make sure that you are keeping the data so you can see if you have met, missed, or exceeded your metrics. Set a time frame to review your plan and data to see what the outcome of your marketing goals have become. Do not be surprised if you have to tweak your marketing recipe to get to the perfect fit for your business.
3. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. You will come to a point where you will find things that always work, plans that never work, and plans that work on a cyclical basis. Chart your findings and use them to your advantage. Marketing is very fluid and you need to be willing to move with it as the tides turn.
4. Events are your best friend. There are several kinds of marketing events you can be a part of. You can sponsor a tent or booth at a charity event. You can buy a booth at an industry trade show. You can host a charity event at your actual business. You can host a community day or drive at your business. All of these are amazing ways to attract customers who are NOT seeking your services or who do not know that your business or industry exist.
There are so many ways to reach a new customer base and throughout the coming days and weeks I will take you through the world of marketing. Hopefully, I can help you find some new ways to market your business that you otherwise would not have thought of.