Marketing is not something that you should see as an occasional activity to keep you on track. You need to build this into your every-day business tasks. Many businesses do lots of marketing when they first set up, and then when they get busy, they fail to keep the marketing activity going. This means that when the work starts to slow down they have to start all over again – and what you are left with is a roller coaster of peaks and troughs in sales and activity.
A little bit of marketing on a regular basis stops the roller coaster effect and helps a business to manage and plan long term.
Types of Marketing Activity
Marketing is made up of lots of different activities – below are just some of the avenues you may consider;
- Direct face-to-face sales
- Email marketing
- Social media / Digital Marketing (websites, links from other websites, pay-per-click, etc.)
- Direct press advertising
- Customer referrals
Each activity is suitable for different markets and you will most likely need to combine a number of different types. This will depend on who your customers are and what they are likely to respond to. Your first step in making a plan is to decide who and where your customers are, what you can offer them and why they should buy from you. Then you can start to develop your marketing plan.
Taking Advantage of Local Opportunities
A marketing plan is ideally something that identifies what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, and how much it will cost. This is something that you may just have in your head, but ideally it is good to keep a track. Finding ways of recording where your customers heard about you is key. Writing your plan down and look at how well each activity worked, on a regular basis is important. This helps when you are seeking to target the most effective ways of picking up business in the most cost effective manner.
Below is a simple example of a marketing plan;
|Activity||Whose Responsibility||Details||How Often||Cost||Impact After Activity|
|Direct advertising||Me||advert in local paper||monthly||£200||only 1 customer has seen it|
|Social media marketing; Instagram and Facebook||Me||update with eye catching images and info||weekly||none||30 sales came from Facebook link |
2 customers said they had seen us on Instagram
|Website updating||Web developer||Update website – Google Analytics |
Search engine optimisation
|monthly||£100||Good numbers landing on page but only 3 converted to sales|
There are often training courses and workshops aimed at helping businesses with their marketing; it is one of the most asked for topics!