What are the right marketing channels for your business?
As the Norwegians are famous for saying, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. It’s the same for your marketing. There are lots of different ways to market your business and its up to you to choose the right marketing for your business. So where do you begin?
What are your business targets?
Often left until last, this needs to be right up front. If you haven’t got targets for the number of new clients or the value of new sales, how can you plan how much marketing needs to be done? You will need many more leads if you are looking to double your business this year than you will if you want to increase by 25%. That means more marketing activity.
What are you selling?
What you sell makes a big difference in both the marketing channels you use and the sales process.
If you are selling chocolate bars to consumers, it’s all about brand awareness and position on the shelves so people remember you and find you when they are peckish and fancy a little treat.
If you are selling a critical service to businesses, it becomes more complicated as its a higher risk purchase. The target audience will be far smaller than for chocolate bars. However the unit price is much higher and so is the profit. The marketing for this product will require a completely different set of marketing channels.
What’s the risk?
The risk involves in buying a chocolate bar is low. There is such thing a horrible chocolate but it’s not that common. Even if you throw it away after one bite, you’ve usually lost less than a pound.
A company’s IT system, for example, is a different matter. They cannot try you out whilst still using their current supplier, so changing is a big risk
Who are you marketing to?
Business systems, such as access control, will need to be marketed to senior decision makers compared to “those wanting an energy boost in the form of a treat” as Mars used to describe their target buyer.
How many buyers?
If you’re selling a telephone systems to businesses, the number of potential buyers shrinks dramatically. There may be >5 million businesses in the UK but most of these are less than 5 people.
Chocolate needs to be sold to large numbers of people to be profitable. It is a mass audience, but each different bar will have a slightly different definition of their Ideal Customer.
What is the message?
With the possible exception of diabetics (where it a potential lifesaver), chocolate is a treat that you can have at pretty much anytime, so the message is one of enjoy yourself.
With complex B2B sales, There will be a number of potential messages, ranging from improved productivity, increased profits or security. You need to work out what your key messages are.
How long is the sales cycle?
You’re peckish, where’s the nearest food shop. Which bar shall I have – is about as long as the sales cycle gets for chocolate, but B2B sales cycles can be weeks or months. Your marketing needs to continue to support the sale process. It doesn’t stop when the lead is passed to Sales. What are you going to do to support Sales?
What has worked before?
If you are like most of our clients, you’ve had your business for a few years. Have you looked back and measured what has delivered leads and sales before? As with financial services “past performance is no guarantee of future performance” but it is a very good indicator. Use the figures rather than your gut feel; we’ve seen significant differences when it’s been measured.
What budgets are available?
You cannot do anything without resources, a combination of time and money. They will also dictate which channels you can use. Remember that time can be bought so if you are short of time, it can be found in other ways. If marketing your business is a priority, the resource has to be found in some way.
I hope these help. Of course, if you would like some help in answering these questions and working out what is the most appropriate marketing for your business, give us a call on 020 8634 5911