When you’re seeking to grow your business, it’s essential that you have a robust marketing strategy that employs a multichannel promotional mix.
With the increasing ubiquity of digital marketing methods, old and primarily offline strategies will no longer be as relevant. However, the good news with modern digital marketing is that it tends to be far more cost-effective, targeted and results-driven than offline methods of old.
Let’s take a look at what start-up businesses need to consider:
1. Your website
Most entrepreneurs need a website to do business and many will have a fully eCommerce-enabled site for online transactions. Your website is your front-end portal for online traffic – which is growing annually, particularly on mobile devices. Your site can be simple and to the point, but it must be well branded, responsive and with clear call to actions for visitors. For example, they might visit you in-store, buy online or call you to engage further.
2. Your social media
Small businesses can greatly benefit from social media as a means of growing their brand and engaging with potential customers. For B2B markets, LinkedIn is usually the best platform, and for B2C markets, small businesses will choose from a combination of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other channels, depending on the profile of their customers.
3. Call handling and telephone answering
A fantastic customer service function is a key aspect of marketing. If you have managed to garner a lead, your employees must be ready to facilitate a conversion with great service. For existing customers, they can encourage repeat purchases, referrals and retention with great after-sales. Invest in a good telephone answering service like Message Direct for professional call routeing and message taking when individuals are not available. This marks out your start-up or small business as being a professional contender that takes its customer focus seriously. You will find that an outsourced supplier is cost effective, offers the latest technologies and can demonstrate ROI.
4. Offline methods
All marketing mixes will still require print. Devise a small range of print collateral which can be extended as far as possible without becoming out of date. An example of this could be a small brochure, a folding Z-card, a flyer and a set of business cards. Include a phone number, email contact address and website. If you are running a promotion, you may produce additional collateral for customers to redeem. Use a professional graphic designer who can present your brand to the highest standards.
5. Email marketing
Gathering customer details is a vital function of your on and offline marketing and engagement activities, and once you have your data lists, you can segment and engage with them through email marketing. Send special offers, news, product updates and more, tracking open and click-through rates to further refine your approach.
6. Other methods
There are other marketing channels to consider too – such as events for direct sales, press for engagement and brand awareness, ‘out of house’ advertising such as billboards and search marketing for online optimisation. A marketing consultant or freelancer can help your small business with this if you have no specialist in-house resource. Once the marketing strategy is in place be sure to review it with your management team at least quarterly to ensure that everything is on track and allocate responsibilities carefully. Remember, your marketing and sales functions should work closely together for the maximum outcomes: customer attraction, conversion and sales!