Small businesses are the very backbone of our country’s economy. Today, there are over 28 million small businesses in the United States. They operate in all different sizes, represent hundreds of industries, and offer a variety of products and services. But there is one thing every business has in common and that is a need for strategic marketing.
No matter how innovative your company is, if you’re unable to “sell” your company to your audience, you will never be able to grow. One huge value of marketing is in its ability to connect you to your audience and demonstrate why they should choose you over the competitor. When executed correctly, marketing is an effective tool that can directly drive your bottom line.
However, by now you should know that not all marketing is necessarily good. Sometimes, companies’ campaign can be just flat out annoying, altogether dumbfounding and even offensive! Just take a look around some of the security trade shows.
So what makes a marketing campaign effective?
- Know Your Audience: This is key. Every company needs to know their target demographics. Marketing to a young mother is very different than trying to connect with a millennial. Become the expert of what your audience listens to, reads, watches on TV, shares on social media, etc.
- Implement a Strategy: Avoid the spaghetti on the wall strategy. In other words, don’t just throw all the marketing tactics (and budget) you have at something and see what sticks. Just because Instagram works for FLIR, doesn’t automatically mean it’s best for your brand. Develop a strategic plan on where, and more importantly why, you’re engaging with your audience on a specific platform and follow it. Make sure all marketing departments are on the same page, (or Google Sheet).
- Deploy a Consistent Message: When executing an integrated marketing campaign that incorporates several elements – such as marketing automation, content marketing, public relations and social media – make sure you’re communicating one, unified message and call to action across all platforms. Message repetition and brand familiarity play a critical role in driving brand loyalty and purchasing actions. Moreover, make sure you visually embody your message. Remember, actions speak louder than words, or in this case intentions.
- Take Time to Evaluate: Without road signs, a driver would never know how far they have driven or if they are getting close to their destination. Along the same lines, if you do not set measureable goals for your marketing campaign, you’ll never know if it was effective and/or successful. Before launching any campaign, set both qualitative and quantitative metrics to be evaluated before and after. Once completed, utilize the data collected in order to learn and improve the impact of your next campaign.
Marketing can be an extremely influential spoke in your wheel of company growth, but it needs to be done right. In fact, we sometimes see a negative effect cause by campaigns that are not well thought out and thrown out to the consumers too hastily. Take the time to do your research, look at the market and come up with a communication strategy that fits your specific needs, as well as the needs of your target audience. You will enjoy the results.