meeting around table

One of the things I’ve noticed as we’ve all had to change the way we work is that people are paying more attention to planning.  Maybe it’s because they are having to do more with less budget; maybe it’s because they are having to work differently and need a different way to present that to their audience or maybe it’s because they have more time.

Whatever the reason – planning is good news!

Instead of jumping on the marketing bandwagon and doing what ‘everyone’ says you should be doing, planning means that marketing activity is much more focused.  While you may have a glitzy website, a stylish Instagram account and professionally crafted blogs, are they actually making a difference?

How many business owners have:

  • A Twitter account and don’t really know what it does for them?
  • A Facebook Page when their audience is on LinkedIn?
  • A newsletter that goes out every month, but doesn’t really achieve much?
  • A blog that very few people know about or read?
  • Random email campaigns just because there’s a product or service that needs to be promoted.

These all appear to be ‘free’ advertising, but they still take time and effort, so there is a cost.  If you were actually paying for an ad in a publication would you still just do it because someone said it was a good idea?

Focus gets results

The big things to focus on are:

Who? Your ideal customer, in as much detail as you can.  Imagine that person was standing in front of you and describe them, their business, their challenges and what stresses them out.

Where?  Where do groups of this kind of person hang out?  Know where to be active so you’re making an impact on the right people.  Better a few of the right people than thousands of people who are not interested.

What?  What have you got to offer?  How can you solve their problems – and what will they get when you do (apart from a warm fuzzy feeling!)?

How?  What tools are available to you?  Specific social media platforms, SEO, newsletter, email marketing, blogs, podcasts, video marketing, networking, sales funnels – there’s a very long list, and you need to choose the ones that will work best to reach and influence your ideal customers.

When?  Which activities will you do, how often?  And does it have to be you – or could someone else do some/all of them? 

Why?  There needs to be outcomes for your business, so measurement of some kind needs to take place.  Just be aware that high volume doesn’t necessary indicate success – so thousands of people visiting your website daily may sound good, but how many of them turn into enquiries? 

Some marketing tools are harder to measure – the number of followers, likes, etc. can give an indication of how your social media is working, but this is more of a longer-term influencing tool.  As with any new activity, you’ll need to give each one time to settle in and gain momentum.

A little focus gives your marketing (and business plans) substance!