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The Marketing People’s Managing Director David Mitchell FCIM discusses the common mistakes many business owners make when marketing their products or services. Before going to market, stop and think about your business- your competitors, your sector, where you are now and where you want to be. This pre-marketing stage will ensure you clarify who you are, what you do, your target audience and their requirements, so you can capitalise on your ongoing marketing activities and increase your return on investment.
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Video: How Pre Marketing Can Help Your Business
Stop wasting money on Marketing that doesn’t work!
For your convenience, please find below a step-by-step guide to pre-marketing and how it can help your business:
Marketing isn’t getting Mary in reception to send some letters out, or do a few emails, or make a few phone calls. That’s not marketing. That’s just pushing some messages at somebody, trying to get some sales, and people are wise to that.
So, what is marketing?
According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, it is, “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitability.”
Our version here at The Marketing People is, “Getting people to do what you want, and make them think it was their idea. To attract, engage, convince, and convert.”
So, over the years we’ve worked out a strategy to help people identify the best way to use their marketing, and develop their marketing.
Most people come to us and say, “I want some marketing doing. I need a brochure; I need a new website because mine isn’t working; I need some Google Ads; I need some Facebook Ads, or I need some search engine optimisation (SEO).” This is because they’re desperate to start getting more out of their marketing, and they’ve realised they’re losing their place in the market. Their competitors are gaining their business.
There’s a key step before all that.
This explains to you how you can get more out of your marketing investment and it not be a cost. It’s the pre-marketing step, which most people forget; not just small business owners that come in and see us, some big business owners, some corporate business owners, all those people who are middle management.
Most of the time we’re talking to the MDs and the CEOs so we can have a real down to earth conversation about what it is that the business requires, and we work against those objectives.
So, you want to do that- sit down and think about what your business is and where it sits. What are the key things, and your points of difference to your competitors?
Have a look at the pre-marketing step and this will really help you get more out of your marketing budget, and the resources you have.
Stop. Do not keep putting the cart before the horse. Most people do it, you’re not on your own.
Our pre-marketing materials can be downloaded from our website here.
But, here’s the short version.
Pre-marketing is all the green stuff that nobody’s doing. They’re all on the blue bit. They come in, “I want some direct marketing, I want an email campaign, I want my exhibition and events sorted. And, I need some pull-ups, pop-ups or whatever it is.” Well, what’s going to go on it? And what should be on there? Why should it be on there?
Who you are and what you offer. Your competitors. Your target audience- what do they want? Do you know what they want? Well you can find out; we can work it through. What is your name and your brand, and positioning? Is that correct in the sector that you’re in? So what do you need to say, and how do you need to say it to get those people to convert to be customers? To attract them in the first place, then engage, convince, and convert.
If you get all that right, when you do go to market for the SEO, for the AdWords, or the other bits that you think you should be doing, that’ll be on target. That’ll be in line with what it is that your potential customers want. You won’t waste your money. You’ll actually be utilising that budget effectively. So again, stop, go back and look at yourself from a competitor’s point of view as well. They’re looking at you. You should be looking at them.
So where are you now? Good question. Where is the business? Where are you not capitalising opportunities? Are there available elements within your marketing strategy to get more of the right type of client? What’s your steady type of client? The profitable ones? Where’s your cash cows? Which are the ones we need more of? How can we target them? What do they need from you?
And then, of course, where do you want to be? What are the objectives? What are your business needs? What are your targets? Let’s find out because then we can do something that makes it work. So, sit down and think about it and make a marketing plan. Have the right type of clients, but map that out, and then make a strategy to fit that so you achieve those objectives, not just waste money on stuff that you think might be a good idea or the next technology that’s coming out.
Okay, let’s fill that gap in the near future. We say near future because things change. People’s habits are changing the way they work, the way they buy. If it’s business-to-business, business-to-consumer, there is a certain model that you can use for both, but habits are changing, so be aware of that. Be adaptive and keep going back to this pre-marketing step.
It’s new tech, same principle. When it comes down to it, it’s pretty basic. I’m not going to give you loads of acronyms and techie things that are going to go, “You need this, you need that.” You don’t. What you need is the right mission statement. The right element to go through it. We know that we have strangers, to promoters, and there’s a cycle that people go through.
Every business goes through these stages. Basically, it’s quite simple: our objective working in a business is, we want to get strangers, to customers, to promoters. It doesn’t finish with the customer by the way; make sure after all the effort you’ve put in, in getting them, converting them, and getting them as a customer, that you then get them to promote you as well.
It’s nothing new. I’ve called it pre-marketing, because a lot of people miss that step, and it is before you start what most people consider the marketing elements. It’s nothing new, it’s the same old stuff. It’s just applied through different technologies and different ways of communicating, but it is a crucial step.
Sit down now and think about every time you’ve gone to your web designer and told him exactly what you want- you’ve told him how you want it to look and what kind of feel you want. Well, when people come to us and say that, I turn to them and say, “Well, the reason it isn’t working is your fault then.” Which isn’t meant to upset anybody, but it’s true. You’ve told someone what you wanted, and all they did was do what you said so you were happy, but is it what your customers need to enable you to develop your business?
Sales and marketing. Whatever channel- traditional, spoken, face-to-face, exhibition, whatever channel it’s on, it’s all the same stuff. It’s got a purpose to attract, engage, convince, and convert, and if it’s not doing that, then don’t waste your money.
Actually, strategically, if I was going to the doctors, because I’m not feeling very well, you’d go to the doctor, he’d tell you what’s wrong with you., and if he couldn’t fix it, you’d be off to the hospital, to professionals. Same with your accountant. Same with your solicitor. You’d be asking professionals, look, there’s an issue here, I need it fixing.
Marketing is a profession, not a hobby. It’s not something you can do in your spare time.
So, pre-marketing, think about it. It’s a crucial step. It’s going to help you. Whether you get in touch with us or not doesn’t matter, as long as you use this video to do something. The people who have been to our seminars have come away going, “Blooming hell, I didn’t realise how much I wasn’t doing in the first step, which could save me a fortune in cost.” It shouldn’t be a cost mark, it’s a good investment, if done properly. A bit like buying a property, you’ll target the right one, you’ll do your research, you’ll figure out it’s right. Do the same with your marketing.
Beat your competition. Get that horse in front of the cart.
Don’t tell any lies. Be polite, be honest, and in line with what the audience requirements are, not what you want.
Now, would you like marketing that’s going to actually earn you business?
If you’ve got some insights, or things that you think could help, then great, please comment below. If you’d like more information, then get in touch.
For marketing that focuses on a return on investment (ROI), call us today on 01543 495752 for a friendly chat to see how we might be able to help you.