So here at SimplyCast, we believe in ensuring that our clients are fully informed. Though it may seem entirely basic, really understanding what you want to gain out of your business and your marketing strategy is key for growth and success. Take this blog as a sort of marketing metric. As Occam's Razor says that, the simplest explanation is usually the right answer. If you're having difficulty with any of your marketing strategies, especially through any of your online channels, and nothing seems to be working, then start at the beginning. Consider this blog post as a refresher course in marketing. You know, it's always great to regularly check in with your basic strategies and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Define Your Mission
This is what you fundamentally believe in, right down to your core. What kind of business do you want to run? What kind of atmosphere do you want to provide for your clients, staff and customers? What are those values that you'll never compromise, no matter what? Non-profits are awesome at this; so take a page out of their book and truly great a mission statement. This is critical to do so before you even begin to create any business strategies or goals. If you're stuck, try writing a bulleted form that starts with "We believe in…" This is a great trigger to really nail down what you and your staff believe in. The mission is pretty much anything you want it to be. Some top businesses integrate their mission statements into their taglines or even taking a step further, making it public. Beyond product or service satisfaction, this truly makes you accountable.
Define Your Market
Yes, eager business owner, you do want to reach every single human being on the planet, but that is just plain silly. Your product or service may not be right for everyone, and you need to find the right niche. So, how do you do that? Start small. Very small. Figure out who is the one group or demographic that needs your business immediately and start there. From the mission exercise, you already have a pretty good idea of your business, and it should be easy to see who you should go after first. Then, as your business grows, so will your vision, products and reach.
Which Online Channel is Right for You?
However, there are many different channels and avenues to advertise, promote and connect with your target market, but finding which one fits your mission and vision is key. Several different modes are appropriate and successful all business types and finding that awesome combination that not only results in the highest return on investment but sales and customer retention (loyalty).
Email marketing is a great, simple way to directly connect to your new customer base. Use it as the basis for any online marketing strategy. The data and customer feedback collected from your email marketing campaigns will help guide you to what other online channels to explore. Email marketing is perfect for B2B and B2C.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are also fantastic channels to connect directly with your customers. Unlike email marketing where it is really a one-way communication stream, social media platforms are conversation based. Social media is more suited for B2C connections but will work well for some B2B, depending on the business.
There is a huge misconception surrounding the effectiveness of fax marketing. Is it outdated? Nope! There's a resurgence of utilizing fax marketing now especially in the extremely techie world we live in. You are directly connecting to your customers, and actually putting your information right into their hands. Truly there is something to be said about having an actual piece of paper in a computerized world. Fax marketing sets your business apart from all others. Fax marketing is ideal for B2B connections.
SMS marketing is the new guy on the marketing block, and is incredibly effective, especially if you're going after a younger, hipper, tech-savvy market. Mobile devices are pretty much universal in the under 50 crowd and you're putting your message directly into their pockets, so to speak. SMS marketing is great for B2C connectivity. Test! Test. Retest. And, test again.
Possibly the most critical and often overlooked basic marketing practice is to test whether your strategies are actually working and meeting your goals. Look at your data, strategies, feedback, and sales from one angle, and then start over, looking at them from the other side. Essentially, by testing a monitoring your strategies, you'll get a clear 360-degree view of your business, its health, progress, and pitfalls. Watch for more tips on email marketing, Twitter, autoresponders and other online strategies in future blogs.