Where do you Start?

image of stepping stones to support small business marketing blogThe majority of my clients are established businesses looking to improve their marketing performance. Every once in a while we work with a new startup and we work as part of a business support organisation called Branduin, where we frequently work with startups and pre-starts. Marketing a new business takes planning from the outset.

Much of the work with do with pre-starts is in the form of clinics and so I thought I’d go back to the very beginning, just for a change.

Where do you start?

There are two reasons for starting a new business:

  1. you want to do something you love doing.
  2. you’ve spotted an opportunity to make money

There are two ways to then work out whether this is a good idea:

  1. you have a product or service and then go looking for a market (usually coming from option one above)
  2. you identify a group of people with a problem and develop a solution to that problem (usually No.2 above)

Which is best?

To us, that depends on what you want from your new business. If you are are primarily after job satisfaction and loving every day, it’s highly likely to be No.1. You could be lucky and simply love doing something that is in high demand, but this is generally where most lifestyle businesses come from.

So where do you start, whether moving from a hobby to a business, or when you believe you’ve spotted an opportunity. The question is: how can I help?

When starting a new business, the answer to this question is the difference between the new business being a success of failure.

Without the answer, how are you going to explain to your target audience why they should then buy from you.

We hope this helps you to think about how to market your new business.


Why Marketing Consistency is Critical

image to support small business marketing blog about marketing consistency

Marketing consistency is critical for a successful campaign.

Let me explain why.

The number of ads we see each is estimated at somewhere between 250 & 360 per day, from exposure to 3-5,000 per day. There is no way we can consume and remember 5,000 ads; we won’t even register that we saw that many. The same research suggests we will register the existence of about half the ads. We will remember about 20% but then only engage with about 5%.

Even if we engage with 10-12 ads per day, that still adds up to at least 3650 per year.

Let’s combine this volume of ads with all the other tasks you, as a business owner, have to do. There is a lot of pressure on your time. It’s the same for most other decision makers that you want to get your messages in front of.

If you want to attract the attention of decision makers within your target audience, you have to combat everything else vying for their attention, so your marketing has to:

  • Be in the places your audience is going to be exposed to it.
  • Be there enough that the target will register its existence.
  • Be registered repeatedly.
  • Grab their attention so that they engage.

All of this has to happen when they are looking for a solution for a problem they have.

For how long?

For products and services that are frequently needed, this means the time period isn’t that long (let’s ignore repeat sales for a moment). However, if you sell a contracted B2B service such as IT services, telecoms or even accountancy, the time period is much longer. Contracts of this type are frequently 12 months or longer, so a sustained programme of activity will be needed. You may not know, at least initially, the contract renewal date is. You are highly unlikely to know whether they are happy with the service being provided.

Even when you do have this information, it’s not a good idea to back away and then only re-engage a little while before the renewal date. Who’s to say they haven’t been looking for an alternative provider and are simply waiting for when they can give notice? If you wait, you may miss the boat.

Have I made it clearer why marketing consistency is so critical?