Now more than ever, brand owners have come to the realization that every 21st century business can no longer exist without marketing. Consumers want to know how credible a brand is before they engage with the brand. How can you as a business build the credibility that consumers are seeking for? You can do this by employing the art of marketing. Here are 8 steps to marketing;
- Conduct Market Research
- Profile your target audience
- Identify your unique selling proposition
- Develop your brand
- Choose your marketing platforms
- Set your budget and goals
- Nurture your customers
- Monitor and Review
Conduct Market Research: Don’t go into marketing with blindfolds on. You must conduct a market research, as this gives you insight into developing your peculiar strategy. Market research is all about collecting information that provides an insight into your customers thinking, buying patterns, and location. It helps you monitor market trends and keep an eye on your competition.
Profile Your Target Audience: Remember that you are not in the market for all and sundry. You have an audience. Defining your audience is cost effective in implementing your marketing strategy. Grouping your target audience will help focus your marketing efforts. Categories of groupings can include;
- Geography: city, country
- Demography: gender, age, income, occupation, level of education
- Lifestyle: social class, personality, values
Identify Your USP: Your unique selling proposition causes your brand to stand out from the crowd. It is important to define what you do differently and be able to convey that to potential customers. To develop your brands USP, answer questions like; “What makes your customers come to you instead of your competitors?“, “How do your customers benefit by purchasing your products or services?”, “What special skills do you possess?”
Develop Your Brand: A business is more than a logo or set colors. As a brand you must emotionally connect with your audience. Articulately communicate who you are and what you stand for.
Choose Your Marketing Platforms: For effective and efficient result, you must determine what platforms of marketing are best suited for your brand. Is it a flier, word of mouth, digital platforms, websites or social media? Decide what works best for you.
Set Your Budget and Goals: Your goals must be SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. As a general rule, you should spend between three and five percent of your actual or expected annual turnover on marketing. If your business is new you may need to allocate more funds initially to build your business profile.
Nurture Your Customers: The key to building a loyal customer base is providing exceptional customer service. Your customers will be your brand ambassadors. Exceptional customer service will encourage loyalty, which can be built by: communicating regularly with customers through social media, blogs or e-news, providing after-sale follow up, delivering on your promises, going the ‘extra mile’ and providing benefits that exceed initial expectations.
Monitor and Review: Regularly monitor and review your marketing activities to determine whether they are producing the desired outcome. Initially you should review your results every three months to ensure your activities are supporting your strategy. Monitoring activities may include reviewing your sales figures on a regular basis (monthly) or monitoring customer activity during an advertising campaign.
Contact us for more information or assistance on marketing your brand.