When it comes to marketing, what you need, and what you want as a small business can be vastly different.
I often take calls from small businesses who know they need to do marketing but are unsure exactly where to start or what to do. The media is full of marketing “help” from platforms offering you the earth – guaranteed lead generation, fool-proof email marketing, or enticing you with “quick and easy” ways to supercharge Google Ads. Not to mention how much money you can make from Facebook and Instagram advertising… It’s no wonder that people are confused!
The best part of what I do at Cariad Marketing is taking that initial call and scoping the requirements of a small business. This is where I get to hear the passion, pain points and the interesting story of WHY they started their business in the first place. This is where they start their marketing journey.
Why do I need marketing?
To start a business, the first thing you need is an idea and a gap in the market. The second thing you need to do is work out how you can make money from that idea, and that includes if there is a market for the product – cue marketing. For a “Solopreneur” the idea is quite often born from a need that couldn’t be filled. So they know there is a demand from at least one person! Now it’s time to get the idea out to the rest of the world.
Marketing is a hugely important business tool so don’t treat it as something that needs to be done in between everything else (quite often we get calls from people in roles at their company where marketing has just fallen into their job description, and they are lost). It is something that needs to have a firm strategy in place, that is in line with your business plan and sales targets.
Marketing is more than a few quotes on social media
There are a number of reasons why marketing needs to be seen as more than just popping out the odd social media post and submitting an article to the local newspaper:
- It can build and maintain your reputation. There is nothing worse for a consumer than wanting to buy a product or service, then after researching the company find an old, unresponsive website and no social media activity
- It boosts sales! Quite an obvious one, but if people don’t know what you have on offer, or more importantly if they don’t know they need what you offer, how do they know what to buy from you?
- You learn lots about your business. Sometimes there is an expectation that if you start marketing activity, the business will boom and you will have no end of enquiries. Whilst this could be the case, it’s likely that you will make a few mistakes as you learn about type of marketing that is effective, and what you target audience engages with
- It makes your competitors nervous….. I like this one! They will see you are taking your business seriously, you have invested in a great new website, have a clear focus and strategy and you are getting results!
So how do we get these great benefits?
Work out where your target market live
The next stage is all about finding the right place to show people what you have on offer. For example, if you have a business that sells sports equipment, the people who are likely to buy will be interested in sports, and sports related accounts on social media, read sports magazines and be into sports-related interests such as healthy eating. From this information we can quite quickly build a demographic to showcase your goods and services to.
Once you know where to find your target market, the next step is to create a strategy based on your sales targets. How much do you need to make in order to sustain your business and go on to grow the business? Is the end goal to sell the business and retire happily on the profits? Or is the goal to grow a like minded team of experts with business longevity in mind.
Once your goals have been established, you can work out how much your margins need to be, in order to allocate a good marketing budget.
For some businesses, this process can take months, if not years to get to a stage where they no longer are being “jack of all trades”, and can start to outsource their marketing and take things to another level.
At Cariad Marketing, we are passionate about helping small businesses make a start on their marketing, wherever that needs to be. We can help with a brand new website, managing your Google Ad Campaigns or Social Media, designing a great new logo or work with you over time to polish your SEO to make sure that people find you.
The key is making a start. What’s stopping you?