Time out to think

Hello! yes, that’s me, taking time out to think! I have this image on my business card because a big part of what I do, both for tent and for my clients is take a step back, take some time to think clearly about the road ahead and make sure we’re on the right path.

It can seem difficult to take the time to plan your marketing activity properly. We are all so busy doing the business that we forget to look at and nurture how it comes to us, what we want and how we can get more of it.

I know it’s hard to believe but we’re on the cusp of a new year and what better time to look at the year ahead, where we are now and where we want to be.

Below is an article I wrote recently which acts as a starting point of anyone who knows they need to update or even begin their marketing plan, but don’t know where to start or who would like a few pointers to get them going.

5 steps to marketing success

 

We all dream of running a successful business, one where we attract the right kind of clients and customers and have a full and flowing pipeline of satisfying and lucrative work and sales.

But without clear goals and a strategy and action plan, your dreams of business success may well stay where they currently are, in your head whilst day to day you sometimes struggle to attract the amount of work or sales that you would like and spend too much time on clients and projects which don’t bring the professional and financial gains that you want.

Here are 5 useful steps to take when considering your marketing planning;

1. Assess your current client base and decide who you want more of. By focusing on your ideal clients you can start to make sure that your marketing message, strategy and tools work to attract more of the same. When looking at your less than ideal clients, think about how you got them as a client and which parts of your current marketing might need to change.

2. Look at your brand image and marketing messages. What are you communicating to potential clients? Are you selling the benefits of what you offer or simply telling people what you do? What does your current brochure or business card say about you? Could it be time for a refresh?

3. Consider the basic 4 P’s of marketing;

Product – markets change constantly as do the needs of customers and clients, is what you are selling still something people need? Can you adjust your offering or package it differently to make it even more attractive? What can you do to make your product stand out from those of your competitors?

Price – research your competitors but above all assess the value of your product or service to your target market along with their ability to pay and set your prices accordingly.

Promotion – get your message right and stick to it across all media. Effective communication and branding rely on dogged repetition of your message, your brand values and the benefits of your service or product.

Place – look at the range of marketing channels, direct mail, face to face networking, advertising, online, social media etc choose what will work best for you.

4. Write your plan – decide what you’d like to achieve and by when. Decide what you are going to do to reach your goals, cost up your options and set a budget.

5. The fifth point is the one that the vast majority of small businesses fail to do – measure and evaluate. So many companies waste marketing budgets by not measuring the success of their marketing efforts. They either give up on a plan that’s about to bear fruit or continue to spend money on something that isn’t working. A marketing plan is a living, breathing thing and needs to be adjusted and altered along the way.

If you’d like some assistance in making 2011 your most successful year yet, why not invest in a Marketing Kickstart from tent?

With a Kickstart from tent, you’ll discover;

  • How to make the most of your current clients & customers
  • The best tactics for you to win the right kind of new business
  • How to present and package your services & products more effectively
  • How to write a realistic and manageable marketing plan

All of this will be covered in a 1/2 day one to one planning session which will leave you fired up and confident about your business.

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