… and treatments we can all apply now
Any trading business should be engaged in some form of marketing. And whatever the preferred strategy, to be effective, their actions should be planned, specific and well-targeted. Well, we would say this, wouldn’t we?!
For many this will be familiar territory. Others may know what needs to be done but struggle to organise and execute. For some business owners, if truth be known, it’s all a bit hit and miss.
And this isn’t so surprising. To begin with, there are many competing priorities. And should the owner of a small manufacturing company, for example, necessarily be an expert in marketing? His or her specialism is in making their particular product as well as it can be made. For those of us involved in marketing, it’s easy to forget that marketing too is something to be learned, a skill to be honed.
Thankfully, there are sound principles we can all draw upon. They’re not particularly sexy but they are proven and reliable, and they evolve.
The benefits of planning your marketing
Once the business vision, mission and goals are set out, marketing activities can be aligned with real targets. Alignment paves the way for energies to flow positively and productively. It lowers the dangers of becoming reactive, and increases the likelihood that marketing activities will be proactive and purposeful.
Alignment needs to be well considered and responsive to changing business priorities. This also helps with evaluating new opportunities. Moreover, when marketing activities are specific, the outcomes are measurable.
If actions and their outcomes are measurable, they can be adapted in response to external pressures or internal initiatives – and then new performance can be measured too.
Over the past months – and for obvious reasons – many of us will have seen television news networks putting up charts for us to see how the UK economy has done over successive decades, even centuries. And why? Because this data enables us all to see the different positive and negative impacts upon the economy, year on year. In theory, understanding this should help us cope with the current crisis.
To survive and thrive, the business owner must ride out and overcome the prevailing economic storms. It’s their job to do this and be ready to grow again as the waves of recession lessen and the storm passes.
When economic downturns are global, the picture can seem (and be) even worse. This is definitely true of today’s pandemic. However, our planning, our proven, reliable and evolving marketing techniques – along with good discipline – will help to see us through. These are our business vaccine. They help build up our business immune system.
Planning – Yes, but what about now …?
The pandemic has unleashed remarkable hardship on a remarkable scale – on businesses, individuals and relationships, and with real costs in terms of mental health as well as lost incomes. These are tough times. To say otherwise would be irresponsible.
So are there business treatments that can be applied immediately? We believe so.
Could you try and get more out of your existing database? Selling to an existing customer is 60-70% more likely to succeed than selling to a new prospect, where the success rate could be as low as 5%.
What about targeted advertising online and in publications that your customers are known to read?
How about refreshing the copy on your website while adding some promotions and discounts? These may well pull in new prospects.
Making your existing resources work harder – or opening up new ones
Alternatively, a more active approach may be needed. Greater emphasis on getting products or services out to prospects may be key.
This could involve simply getting on the phone to make sales calls, or a mailout to likely prospects, or perhaps recruiting a salesperson (commission-only?) or developing a digital marketing campaign using social media or video advertising.
Perhaps join a networking group, where there’s opportunity to speak to others about the products or services you offer.
Whatever your strategy, your preferred marketing method should always be under review. It should be specific and measurable and you need to be flexible – and determined enough to persevere when (and because) times are tough.
What can we offer to this mix?
Like all businesses, we at Future Point 4 Business have had our own challenges. While we’ve been able to keep business coming in, the market has definitely slowed. We too have had to 'write prescriptions' to support clients, in some cases reducing prices to take into account damage caused by Covid-19.
Very recently, in November, and in partnership with Regus UK, we launched a prize draw for video animations for Regus members in Portsmouth, Fareham (where we are), Southampton and Bournemouth. Three prizes are up for grabs, and even the entrants who don't win can purchase the same product at a 35% discount.
We have also applied a 35% discount to our ‘Go Proactive’ website plans for a whole year. The offer ends (i.e. signing up) on 31st January 2021, but see: https://www.futurepoint4business.com/go-proactive.html for details of how our plans can make your online presence work so much harder for your business.
Measures like these, and those already mentioned, could make all the difference to our businesses going forward.
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