Marketing 101: Where Do You Begin?

Marketing Strategy 101
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There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Arthur Conan Doyle

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Everyone knows that it takes money to make money. If you don’t invest in your business, how will anyone be interested in what you have to offer? In a day and age where there are just as many ways to market one’s business as there are types of people, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do with the data that’s collected. It’s clear that despite all the facts and schematics you might easily find through websites and Facebook pages, most people have no idea how to use this data to their advantage. It may be important to note exactly how many clicks our web ads managed to accrue every week― but why? Why exactly is this data relevant? If you don’t know the answer to this question, then this is the article for you!

So… where exactly do you begin?

Establish Your Endgame

What exactly are you trying to accomplish by investing in a new marketing campaign? Are you

trying to expand your client base? Increase monthly sales statistics? Would you like your company to dominate the monopoly in your chosen field? As cool as it would be to do any of these things, your endgame should be a bit more specific. If you are unsure of where to begin, start with this: Establish your endgame

Think about where you would like to be. Now make it bolder! Where would you like your company to be in six months? What about in the next five years? You should know exactly what you expect to get out of your investments before spending a single dollar on a new marketing campaign. Already done it? Well, it sounds like you’re ready for step two.

Break It Down

Now that you know where you want to go, it’s time to set a time frame for your project! Whether it be for a week, a month, or a season, creating a timeline and sticking to it is the only way to ensure your long-term success. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s as essential as it is theoretically daunting. Some business owners might want to start small by booking 10 new appointments by the end of the week. Some may want to increase sales by 50% within a month. You need to come up with a specific time frame, set your projected milestones, and allow room for error. 

Why allow “room for error” In the first place? No matter how prepared you might be, this last part is particularly crucial for the first few weeks of your marketing campaign. Even the most prepared and experienced of business owners understand that life’s one constant companion is change. Time for error will allow your marketing team to make adjustments as the results of your campaign start rolling in. With a structured business plan and sufficient room for error, you’ll allow yourself the opportunity to keep up with your original completion timeline with money to spare.

Identify Your Budget

Time to put your money where your mouth is. It may sound like a no-brainer, but any money that you spend to build your business needs to be spent wisely, and this absolutely includes your marketing budget. Review your resources and identify just how much you will need to invest in your business. Many new business owners tend to make the mistake of skipping this step and try to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations exclusively. Do not make this mistake. Make sure your target audience knows about your business. If it’s within your power to do so, save yourself the future headache and loss of funds by identifying your marketing budget early.

Research Popular Channels

This is where it starts to get complicated. In a day and age where there are literally hundreds of different media outlets to choose from, it’s important to know exactly which to choose first. Though it’s true most corporations tend to invest in their own television commercials, radio ads, pop-ups, and even have a presence on just about every social media known to man, your average small business owner will not have those kinds of resources. Now that you’ve secured your marketing budget, it’s time to narrow down your choices when it comes to a media outlet. Who is your target audience? Are they 9-5 commuters who tune in to their local radio every day? Then you might want to invest in a radio ad. Are they homemakers who love browsing the web for inspiration? You might want to manage a Pinterest account where you share your most collage-worthy promo pics. With so many to choose from, it may be simpler to consult with a professional marketing company to manage all these tasks for you. Always keep your target audience in mind, make your selections, and get ready for the most important step of all.

Launching Your Campaign

Now that you have a good understanding of exactly where you want your company to go, it’s time to pull the trigger and launch! This is easily the most daunting of all the steps because there is no going back now. There is also no way to improve your business model and start making money until you start telling people what you have to offer. 

You worked so hard to get to this point. You established your endgame, broke it down into feasible attainable steps, you identified your budget, and researched popular channels for your business. The time has come. Take a breath, put your money where your mouth is, and let the real work begin!

Optimize

Once you’ve allowed the campaign to run for a while, it’s time to optimize our work moving forward. This is exactly what your original breakdown will be used for! After the first few weeks of the campaign, your marketing team will monitor all the data collected using the popular channels you selected prior to launch. Your marketing team will take everything they have learned using the facts collected to successfully optimize your marketing campaign. Find out what works, identify what doesn’t, and make the necessary changes so your company continues to head in the direction you planned for in the first place. 

Starting your own business can be just as intimidating as it is exciting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right team behind you to interpret the facts and advise you accordingly, your company’s chances to succeed will skyrocket. If you’re currently watching your social media stats and don’t know where to go from here… it may be time to give your business the care and attention it deserves. Facts can no longer deceive you if you have the tools and guidance to interpret them wisely.

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