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Marketing – getting the foundations right

Marketing. It’s a word that seems to conjure up different things for different people. Some think it’s advertising, some think it’s sales. It’s an umbrella term for quite a few things and it’s vital for businesses big and small to understand how all the components best work for them.

To simplify, and at a very high level it incorporates advertising, sponsorship, public relations, branding/packaging, logistics, and sales. It can be broken down much further than that, but in a nutshell it’s the way in which you and your brand are represented in the market place – and if one aspect isn’t working well or is misrepresented then your business may have trouble reaching, attracting, retaining or converting people into paying, loyal customers/clients.

So, what can you do to ensure your marketing is working well? Quite simply – take a step back and make sure the foundation is strong.

1 – Take a long hard look at your business. What do you do well, what problems do you solve for people, who are your customers – and how do they live? Write it down. Create ‘buyer personas’ and every time you think to spend money on any type of marketing campaign – check that it’s speaking to those ‘buyers’. Marketing legend David Ogilvy once said, “The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife.” Sexism aside the meaning is still relevant – the customer is shrewder than you think and is still an individual – not a homogeneous demographic or statistic. If you don’t know who they are then start taking notes.

2 – Know what you want to achieve. Set some SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant & Time-bound). If you don’t set goals you cannot evaluate your efforts or celebrate your wins. What’s the point of buying a magazine advert, a billboard, paying for a celebrity influencer, sponsoring a sports team or having a website or social media page if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with it? You’re potentially throwing money away.

3 – Is your brand clearly communicating what you do, who you are and what problems you can solve? A brand is more than a trademark or logo, it’s evolved in to something akin to the consumers specific perception of the attributes and qualities of your product or service – so this may incorporate your logo, your company culture, your sponsorships, your people and the customer experience with you.  If you’re unsure what your customers think about your brand it’s time to do some research and evaluate your brand position.

4 – Do you know what your competitors are doing? Who’s doing what well, who is succeeding and who is struggling and why? It’s not a waste of your time to understand where you sit in relation to others. It helps you identify if you’re just the same as everyone else or have a unique offering.

Marketing has a lot of buzzwords, and can feel a little overwhelming at times, but if you get the foundations right, you will set yourself up for success. To help you get it right the marketing team at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway offer a one-hour free consultation. If you’d like to chat about creating strong marketing foundations or establishing ongoing marketing support – we’d love to help. Get in touch for a one-hour free consultation to find out how we can help, or contact your usual Baker Tilly Staples Rodway advisor. 

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