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4 reasons why marketing doesn’t have to be a headache

Marketing a head-ache

So you’ve been doing really well. Business has been growing steadily, but now you want to go to the next level. It’s time to stretch the business beyond its current comfort zone.

That could be a simple case of growing the revenue with your existing product, but it might also be you looking to diversify into new products in order to attract new customers, simply creating deeper marketing penetration.

Whatever it is, it’s taking your business to the next level in terms of increasing your revenue.

You’re all excited, but then someone says the dreaded words………..

‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to need to some marketing.’

Urgh! Really???

Marketing has a bad reputation, for many reasons, not least because it seems so expensive, it takes up lots of time and often doesn’t work.

So, I’ve taken a few of the key things that feel like barriers and given a few thoughts around each one. Enjoy the read!

1) We’ve done marketing before, it just hasn’t worked

Yes you probably have, and it may well not have worked. But what’s the reason behind the failure?

One travel agent I know was doing lots of marketing. He had the best situation, suppliers were giving him money to create the advertising, they’d even provide him with creative if he wanted it. It was great! But it wasn’t working to drive business into the shops.

Why wasn’t his marketing working?

Well one of the reasons was that the marketing he was doing was focussed on his suppliers not his customers.

He was using someone else’s advertisement with his logo to promote his travel agency. In his head it was great. His customers were able to see the great companies that they could go on holiday with, and he got cheap advertising.

But that isn’t why his customers came to his travel agency.

They came for the personal service, for the recommendations that were appropriate to them. They didn’t really care about the cruise company in the advert.

They just wanted the best cruising holiday they could within their budget. So the supplier ad just didn’t speak to them, and they didn’t come to the shop.

The importance of understanding your customers

A focus on talking to his customers and understanding what appealed to them, meant he could start to focus his advertising so he upped his budget, and focused on what he could offer the customer. Suddenly things got much better, people understood what the travel agency offered, and footfall started to increase.

Often the failure of marketing is not understanding what appeals to your customer. It is all too easy to focus on the features and benefits of your product. However, it is customers who buy the product.

Make sure you understand their needs, and their pain points. The marketing will become much more focussed.

2) We simply don’t have the budget to start marketing

The reality is that marketing is an investment. In the same way you invest in computers, you need to invest in marketing. But the key to making that investment worth it is by making sure you set things up right in the first place to make sure any subsequent work is cost effective and gives you a return on investment.

The temptation with marketing is always to go for the tactics first. How can I solve the problem I have? Will emails work, maybe I should try Google Adwords etc etc.

But what you’re doing is working out the solution to the problem before you actually understand the problem. A recent architecture client wanted to increase the average level of spend per client by up to 50%. They were very firm in who they were going to target for this and what areas it should be in.

The power of research

However, I persuaded them that before we progressed into the tactics we do some market research.

That research showed that the target audience with the cash to spend where completely different to who they were expecting. They weren’t families but empty nesters. Similarly, the area they were targeting didn’t have the house prices which would justify the spend they were looking for. So the focus shifted 25 miles east where there was.

We put together a new strategy based around this research. Some additional competitor research also showed us how they could differentiate themselves. It meant that their marketing could be much more targeted and focussed.

The cost benefits of a marketing strategy

With this client, we didn’t increase their marketing budget, what we did was refocus it. With a clear strategy and target audience, we could focus on key tactics that would work for them and then drop off ones that weren’t working, or weren’t going to be suitable for the new target audience.