5 Smart Marketing Strategies to Help Your Business Thrive
Know your brand’s strategy. It’ll put your business on autopilot.
So often in our angst to start a business we put the cart before the horse, forgoing the vital preparatory steps that lay the foundation for us not only to succeed but also to thrive. Take the time to map, not just your mission statement, but your brand position, value proposition, vision, values, business personality and promise. Thoroughly fleshing out these details before you hit the ground running will ensure clear focus and direction on the road to success.
Be Clear About Your Audience. What (or who, rather) does it look like?
Anyone who’s attended business school or any type of secondary education knows the importance of a target audience. But let’s take it a step further… give your target consumer a persona. What does she (or he) look like, what are her buying preferences, where does she shop, is she up-to-date on world events, pop-culture? What’s the best time for her to check her social media or emails? Is she athletic? Is she a mom? What type of music does she like and where will you find her on the weekends? Literally giving you’re target customer her very own unique identity will help you understand how to best communicate with her, how and where to reach her and how to best engage her based on her every day life – choices, buying habits, preferences and personality.
Stop marketing yourself and find out what your client’s needs are.
We’ve all seen it before the websites, articles, and social media posts that braggadociously boast the accomplishments of a company rather than stating the solution based strategies tailored for the client. Setting your company on a pedestal does little to engage consumers… it simply shows how great (you think) you are. But, we all know that business is about solving problems, answering needs and being a solution-maker. So how does your business do that? This is the angle you want to come when engaging new clients, drafting case studies and marketing your business.
Competition. Stop acting like there’s no one else that does what you do.
Any business who says it doesn’t have competition is only fooling itself. Why? Because a competitor is any other business that takes the dollar away from your company. So, arguably your competitor could be any (and every) business. But we’ll go a little less granular (whew). A very least know the competition in your geographical location, industry and demographic pool as well as the competitors a tier above and below you. If for no other reason than the knowledge you gain from competitors, be acutely aware and tuned into their strengths, weaknesses, marketing tactics, best practices and flat-out failures. This will not only save you time and money, but trail and error. Let your competition be a walking case study for the things you will and will not, should and shouldn’t do.
Kenny Rogers said it best, “Know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em”.
Before you ever sell your first widget or take on your first client part of your overall plan should include your exit strategy. Is this a lifelong business to be passed down to your children, is this part of your ‘fun-five-year-plan’, or are you building to sell. Knowing the answers to these questions will not only guide your marketing efforts, but will help answer other business questions like, how much money you’re willing to risk? How many employees you take on. Will the home suffice or should you make an international move?
You can market and advertise your business until you’re blue in the face but if the market is oversaturated, you don’t have the means behind you or (let’s face it) your product isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, you’ll have to determine whether to re-route company direction or go for something new. The bottom line is ‘let the plan guide you… but know when to switch it up or make a new plan’.