The simple fact is that the world has changed since the “glory days” of the 1990s. Doing business is more complex and demanding than ever before – customers are more informed, have greater access to more information and your marketing message is subject to more scrutiny.
So, to help you navigate this ever-changing playing field, here are my top five tips.
1. Complexity = cost
In business, complexity equals cost and the same applies to marketing. With so many options of where to spend your marketing dollar, there is a great temptation to spread your spend too thin. My advice is to concentrate your marketing budget on fewer activities and put more time and resources into the management and tracking of the results from these campaigns. Less is now more.
2. Skill-up or buy in skills
The additional marketing channels have opened up new and interesting ways of communicating with your target audience. It does mean, however, that the chance of putting your marketing spend in the wrong spot is far greater. How to overcome this? I recommend that you consult with a marketing expert or, if your budget doesn’t allow for that, use all the small-business resources you can to educate yourself as much as possible. Your local state government department is a good place to start.
3. Master one type of social media
If I had a business in the wedding market, Facebook would be my social media of choice. For those in a consulting or B2B type market, then LinkedIn is worth investing some time and money into. Master one type of social media before moving on to the next.
4. Have a monthly marketing calendar
Marketing activity equals sales and having a regular calendar of marketing tasks is important. One or two activities may be sufficient to keep your sales funnel full and I would recommend repeating successful campaigns throughout the year.
5. Free is good but …
I am a fan of free marketing / PR tools, such as SourceBottle; however, the fact is that the most effective way to control your marketing message is through advertising. Every business should advertise in some capacity in 2011, and if you are not sure how to do this in a cost-effective manner, use resources such as Media Scope (www.mediascope.com.au) to assist you with this task or hire a marketing consultant to give you a hand where needed.