The biggest challenge in business is finding potential customers and convincing them that the product or service you sell is worth the money that you’re asking for it. Competition is strong in almost every market, from simple products like stationary, to things like houses that are more complex and that people may only spend money on once or twice in their lives.
For this reason, you need to find ways to make your business stand out from the other options and you do that through marketing.
There are countless ways you can market your business, from encouraging existing customers to tell their contacts about you, to running digital campaigns through sites like Facebook and Google.
Along with accounting, marketing is one of the things that new business owners underestimate, often considering it to be something they can take care of themselves simply by telling a few people about what they’re selling and by creating a Twitter account.
Unfortunately, marketing is an incredibly complex discipline that’s made up of several different elements and doing it successfully requires a lot of work. If you’ve come to realise this the hard way after struggling to convert as many customers as you’d hoped for, here are some things you can do to make your next marketing campaign a success.
Do Your Research
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll likely be much more inclined to take the initiative than the general populace. It is this trait that makes many entrepreneurs rely on their instincts as to what their customers want and how they can best serve them.
As a business, your role is to help solve the problems and needs that your customer has. For example, supermarkets resolve people’s need for food while clothing companies solve their need to cover themselves in public and stay warm.
The best way to understand the problems and needs of your customers is to ask them rather than assume you already know the answer.
Therefore, before you spend a penny on designing a marketing campaign, you should put time into researching your market, your customers, and how you can best serve them.
Analyse Your Strengths and Weaknesses
There are several ways for you to differentiate yourself from the crowd. The first is to offer a higher quality of product or service, something that goes beyond what is offered by your competition. Using the car market as an example, a Mercedes would typically be seen as “higher quality” than that of a Ford, and its price tag reflects this.
The second way is to be more convenient for your customers. That could mean being physically closer to them, offering fast delivery, or having a product that is easier to use than others on the market. For example, aptly named “convenience stores” offer essentials like milk, bread, and batteries at slightly higher prices than out-of-town stores but are easier to get to.
You can also compete on price by making your product or service cheaper than your customers. One-off promotions can also work for competing on price; for example, iGaming companies offer casino bonuses for US players that match deposits or provide free bets as a way to encourage people to sign up to their site over a competitor.
Before designing a marketing campaign, you should understand which one of these you can offer to your customers. It isn’t usually possible to offer more than two, and it often isn’t a good idea to have cheap prices but offer a high-quality product as people typically believe the two are correlated.
Consider Where Your Customers Hang Out
If you have a business that sells knitting patterns to pensioners, you’re not going to want to advertise on TikTok. Similarly, if you have a physical store, advertising to people on the other side of the country or the world is going to be a waste.
Therefore, you need to carefully consider where you are most likely to find your customers and plan your marketing accordingly.
If you have a business that services tractors and other farming equipment, then it makes sense to advertise on websites and in magazines that are tailored to those in the agricultural sector. Similarly, if you run a beauty salon in your town, advertising to people that live in and around the area on Facebook is going to help you reach a more relevant audience.
By building a better understanding of who your customers are, what they want, and the problems that they have in their lives or work, you can design marketing campaigns that are more effective. To do this, you need to decide how you can best meet those needs, either by being better, faster, or cheaper, and then finding the best way and best place to let potential customers know about how great you are.
However, telling potential customers once isn’t going to be enough, so you should ensure your campaign runs for long enough that it will be seen multiple times by the same person. Many in the marketing industry say that someone needs to see an ad an average of seven times before taking action, so make sure you can be seen over and over again.