Is Your Marketing Working for You?

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Sayan Biswas, Negosentro |  Businesses need marketing strategies to communicate their message to potential customers, and the effectiveness of your strategy will be one of the key factors in the success of your venture. There’s no shortage of good advice about planning and implementing a strategy and operating a marketing campaign, but simply setting everything up according to what you’ve read on the Internet is no guarantee of success. If you’ve put all the recommended facets of marketing in place, but you’re still not getting the response you need, what can you do to find out why, and how do you know what action to take to start getting better results?

Communication

Being able to communicate your message effectively is essential because without it being clear what you’re promoting, consumers aren’t going to know they need or want what you’re offering them. Advertising is a good example here, and it may give you small comfort to know that even big companies who can afford television advertising campaigns don’t always get it right either! If you think about adverts you’ve seen, you will almost certainly remember several that you thought were interesting, stylish, different, clever, and memorable. But was it the product that was memorable or just the ad? Very often the most beautifully made adverts fail to address the key issue, which is to put the product at the forefront of consumers’ minds. So you might remember an ad because it was impressive and eye-catching, but not necessarily be able to bring to mind what this work of art was trying to sell. On the other hand, very simple, even banal ads that have a strong image and a catchy jingle tend to make the product stick in the mind. It is possible to achieve both stylish and on point ads, so there is room for the artist as well, but style shouldn’t come at the expense of a clear message.

Your message

Have another look at your message. What is it you’re saying and is there any way that it could be misinterpreted? You need to be saying something that describes what you’re selling and who you are clearly, and that sets you apart from your competitors. If one of these elements is missing from your message, then other businesses who have crafted more effective messages will be getting all the custom. Imagine you need to engage a lawyer. You have a look at a local directory listing, and there are ten law firms nearby; how do you choose which one to go for? You’ll probably discount any that don’t have more than the most basic contact information, because this is a clear message that they don’t have their own well-developed marketing strategy in place, and with no additional information how are you supposed to know whether they would be able to deal with your problem? Of the handful that are left, several list all the legal specialties they cover and mention success rates, or customer satisfaction standards, which all sounds positive. But one stands out because it describes itself as being a firm that understands the problems of small business owners and will be happy to offer you a free thirty-minute consultation to discuss your situation. In this example, this is the service you would use. They identified your need, made it clear who they specialize in helping, and offer an incentive to encourage you to make contact. Now, look at your own marketing. Did you create an informational directory entry or advertisement like the law firms in the example, believing you’d done a good job and added value to your entry? Then your problem is likely to be rooted in the fact that you aren’t addressing the specific needs of your audience. An entry that differs little from all the other entries or descriptions potential customers see will ensure that you melt into one with the other messages. You’ll still get business because when faced with no clear stand-out choice people will effectively stick a pin in to choose who to contact. But to achieve higher levels of engagement you need to be making your communications stand out from the crowd.

Technical expertise

You can’t be good at everything in your business, or at least you probably find some aspects of running the company more challenging than others. One area that can get neglected after a fashion is your IT systems. If your systems are working and there aren’t any major issues to deal with caused by IT failure, you can fall into the trap of continuing as you have for years, without implementing new systems and updating your work processes. There are new technologies, software packages and apps being developed all the time, and many will be of great benefit to your business. Increased efficiency and productivity is always beneficial, but consider that if you are freeing time away from the mundane administration processes every day, that leaves more time for selling and marketing. Furthermore, you could find tools that will help you create better, livelier campaigns, and find ways of running your campaigns more efficiently.

SEO

If you aren’t familiar with the term SEO, that could explain a lot about why you’re not reaching your targets! Search Engine Optimization is an essential element of your online presence because unless you are on the first few pages of a search engine results list, very few customers will ever see your website or social media accounts. Competition is fierce for the highest positions, and although it is a straightforward process to follow basic guidelines on how to optimize your site if your efforts aren’t boosting your ratings, you need to consider getting some outside assistance. SEO companies like Exelab specialize in keeping up to date with the ways search engine algorithms alter their criteria, and they have a range of methods they can use to improve your page rankings. If you haven’t got much idea about SEO, or you’ve done what you can, and you’re still on page fifty-two of a search, contact an SEO company to see how they could help you improve your rankings.

Are you doing enough?

If you’ve got a schedule for your social media posts, send out emails on a regular basis, keep your accounts up to date and add new content regularly, you may think that’s enough to make your communications effective. However, you might find that increasing the frequency of your posts or sending out more emails might get more of a response. You need to aim for a constant drip feed of useful and interesting posts and messages so that you become familiar and are the first company that comes to mind when someone needs your product or service. On the other hand, sending out too many posts and messages can be too overwhelming, which will make customers switch off from your company. You can experiment with different frequencies and monitor the changes using tracking tools, which are provided by social media management websites and search engines.

Quality

In your efforts to get a message across that resonates with potential customers, make sure you aren’t compromising on the quality of your output. People are more likely to engage with businesses who seem professional, knowledgeable and are of high quality. If you are aiming at the discount and budget end of the market, you might get away with lower quality communications, but don’t assume that everyone who shops for cheaper products is unconcerned with quality. The better presented and crafted your communications, the more likely you are to attract the customers you seek, at any point on the bargain to luxury scale. If you don’t have the writing or design skills to create stunning, high-quality websites, blog entries or social media posts, employ someone who can, or find a freelancer to do this work for you. If you’re worried about the cost, remember this is an investment in the future of your business, and improving the quality of your communications could play a key part in increasing your revenue. Therefore, the cost of investing in a specialist to do this work will be more than covered by the resulting increase in your profits.

Outside influences

You should always look internally for any aspects of your business that could be performing better, but sometimes there are external influences over which you have little control. If a competitor opens up near you, or a new e-commerce business enters the online market, this is bound to have an effect on your business. Whether the competitor is a force to be reckoned with will only be proven over time, but it’s best to assume they will be taking customers from you, so you need to take action with refreshed marketing campaigns, new offers, new services or products, and continuing to get your message across that your business is the best in your niche. Look on competition as an opportunity to improve your own strategies and develop your business to new heights.

By examining every element of your marketing strategy and taking notice of what external factors may be having an influence on your performance, you should be able to identify areas for improvement and take the action you need in order to get your business back on track.

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