Marketing is a huge subject – and it starts with consumer demographics and statistics, through research and development, including market share, promotional activities and sales.  It even includes customer care, post purchase support and more.

However, for most business owners it’s the promotional activities that tend to get most of their focus.  And even then they suffer from overwhelm.

Do you:

  • Advertise in publications or billboards, banners, posters, etc.?
  • Sponsor an event or something where our name is visible?
  • Write press releases and distribute to local and industry publications?
  • Invest in video material, because that’s what everyone wants these days, isn’t it?
  • Get on all the social media platforms and be active?
  • Launch lots of email campaigns to keep your name in front of those people who are on your list?
  • Enter lots of awards and aim to get a few gongs to impress potential clients?

This is just the tip of the iceberg and any one of the above can be time-consuming.

Before you jump in and start taking frantic action, stop and think.

Some of these could be very effective – but which ones?

That will depend on who you’re trying to reach.  Your first action should be to have a very clear idea of exactly who you want to influence and connect with.  Once that’s sorted out, the decisions you make about the other activities will be easier.

Where you advertise and where your articles are published will be dictated by your target audience.  It’s pointless advertising, sponsoring events or submitting articles if that’s not where your target audience is going to be looking.  This will help your activities to be much more focused.  Managing a press distribution list with eight publications that are reliably read by the people you want to reach, it much easier than pushing articles out to dozens of random publications.

Sponsoring an event where the attendees are all your target audience is much more productive than hoping for a few lines covering in the local press will reach them.

Before you invest in anything ensure it’s something that your target audience wants and will see.  The same applies to social media – pick the ones where you’re most likely to be able to connect with the people you want to.

The same with email campaigns – how will these be received by your list?  It’s worth doing some testing before jumping in the deep end.

Awards are great – but putting together an awards entry can be time-consuming.  Will an award influence the people you want to reach to use you?  Will it get you enough publicity in the right places to justify the time and effort?

Thinking through your options should produce enough information to put together a promotional plan that’s manageable.