Marketing your business – by Karen Kennard
Starting and running a business is never easy. Whether you are setting up a new business, buying an established one, or running a successful business already, Marketing should play an important part in your business strategy, and it is often something that is overlooked or approached in a haphazard way, and therefore does not achieve the results that it potentially could.
Marketing need not be expensive and basic marketing techniques can be applied to any type of business. Whether you are in Spain on the mainland or on the islands, if you follow these simple steps, you will be on the way to marketing success.
Before you start – look at your competition. Who they are and what are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? (in your opinion, and their customers’). How could you do it better? Why will customers want to buy from you instead of them? Make sure you are clear in your mind about what you are offering that differentiates you from the competition and makes your product or service more appealing. Undertake some research – talk to people and find out what they need, and what the competitors are failing to do.
Identify and segment your customers – most businesses, large and small have more than one type of customer. A hotel might have a business customer and a leisure customer, and within those, there will be those looking for meeting rooms and those just looking for somewhere to stay with business facilities, and the leisure customers will be families, couples, weekend breakers, or holiday makers. Identify your customers and where they come from, including whether you are targeting the English speaking, expat community, or the Spanish community, the tourists, or the wider international residents community, and tailor your marketing to each group.
Planning – mention the words business plan or marketing plan, many people freeze and think this is out of their league, but a marketing plan does not need to be sophisticated or expensive. It can simply be a way of formalising your thoughts on paper, so that you can look back and make sure you are doing all the things you promised yourself you would doyou’re your approach is haphazard you will not achieve as much benefit as you would if you are structured in your approach and follow a marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be fixed in stone, and can be adapted as your goals or circumstances change.
Getting the message out – your company image and literature. This is very important as it is often the first impression that people will have of your company, and first impressions last. Don’t try to be clever, just get the message out, clearly, attractively, professionally.
Marketing mix – you may have heard of the marketing mix, which is basically a way of saying that you need a combination approach to marketing. People are always looking for that one thing that will transform their business overnight, but unless you’re very lucky, that doesn’t really happen. It is about a broad and varied approach to communicating with your customers and prospects, using PR, advertising, direct marketing, online marketing, sales and networking.
Monitor, analyse and review everything you do – there is little point in spending money on marketing unless you are able to tell if it has worked. Ask customers where they heard about you, keep records and results and you will know whether it is worth repeating or not.
Marketing is about creating a “drip, drip” effect with to a targeted audience. If they hear about you from different sources, and what they hear is good, they will remember and use your business when they have a requirement. There is no quick fix answer, but if you spread your messages, ensuring they are targeting potential customers and not just the wider general public, the message will get through.
For help with your marketing please contact [email protected]or call 07879 205485