Marketing for SMEs
Marketing and Sales are actually two very different activities, although they are often confused.
Marketing is all activity through which the visibility and profile of your business is increased. It forms the backcloth to and support for sales activity.
In an earlier blog we looked specifically at Website Marketing, but there are many other avenues, including literature, advertising, PR and direct marketing, and of course these days, social media.
Here are ten “commandments” that historically have been proven to be useful in maintaining effective marketing:
1. Your Strategy – However informal, you must have at least a plan. Otherwise it’s just a random approach which rarely works well.
2. Know your Market – Part of that strategy will be a clear picture of what your key markets are, and a full understanding of how they work.
3. Maintain your Identity – If you have a brand, guard it jealously. It’s a potential jewel. Promote it vigorously. If you don’t have a brand, try and develop one. Many aspects can be important, even if they’re informal, such as a recognisable identity, or a niche market position.
4. Be Recognisable – Part of your strategy should be to create and maintain a recognisable identity. This incorporates many things, but don’t reject things because they seem too obvious, such as logos or strap lines; much marketing activity is essentially doing the basics well.
5. Be Visible – Make yourself easy to find. Don’t hide from view! Think carefully about how your target customers will hear about you.
6. Plant Seeds – Marketing is about planting seeds and helping them germinate. Take the long view.
7. Make their Decision Easy – Continually question why your customers would buy from you? What’s in it for them? What would you want in their position?
8. Invest in Others – Sometimes the low road is as good as the high road. Invest time in others, they will remember you.
9. Make Friends – Contacts are crucial. Make friends with everybody and keep in touch. Collaborate with your competitors. You don’t have to be deadly enemies. You never know where your next job is coming from.
10. Constantly Review – Don’t just carry out your marketing initiatives and then sit back, it’s a constant battle! Continue reviewing how things work and amend your approach as you go along.
8 March 2018