Marketing a New Business – The Essentials
The idea of starting a new business is usually exciting and daunting in equal measure. Running your own business is certainly a very rewarding experience both in terms of personal fulfillment and potential financial return if you make a success of it. What I want to do here is give owners of new or young businesses some ideas that I believe can help them succeed specifically from a marketing point of view.
Identify your market – First things first, decide what exactly it is that you will provide in terms of products and services and who you will sell them to. Define your market, is it consumer (B2C) or business (B2B). Then if for example you are B2C, identify what your market is in terms of age group, geographical area, income level, sex, interest group, etc. Next look at your price points, where do you fit into the market. Do you aim to compete in terms of price point, quality, service, method of delivery e.g. online, etc. Most importantly do some research and try to put numbers to your target market and make sure that you can sell enough for the business to succeed.
Identify your Unique Sales Points – What is different about your company, products or services? Why should businesses or consumers choose to buy from you? Define the answers to these questions clearly and list out your unique sales points and main sales points. These points should be core to your marketing message.
Bring you products or services to market – Think about how you will reach the target market you earlier identified. Dependent on the profile of consumers or businesses that you are targeting you will need to adapt your marketing tactics accordingly. For example, if you have a younger, consumer based target market then they will respond better to SMS text or internet. Older generations often prefer to read print. If your products are very visual or you need to convey a lot of information then you may need to use texts or email to drive traffic to your website to gain sales. There are many marketing options available, online, advertising, direct marketing, PR, etc. Think what will work for your business.
Effective Marketing – This usually begins with a high quality and professional corporate ID, something that reassures your potential customers that you are a business that knows what it is doing and is here to stay. The corporate ID in terms of logo, colors and typeface usage will begin to build your business as a brand and together with your unique sales points, establish what your business stands for.
Make sure that you have a strong online presence because an excellent website is important to all businesses now and core to the strategy of many. For a truly effective website you need high quality design, easy, clear navigation, fast download, great copy and a package of search engine optimization measures to drive quality traffic.
In the early years spend as much as you can afford to on marketing but plan your spend carefully, ideally in an annual marketing plan. Remember marketing is an investment, so monitor return on investment for each element of your marketing and re-target spend towards what is working.