What's the best way to build your company brand? Should you focus on your website, direct mail, print ads, advertising specialties, electronic newsletter or social networking? What is the magic bullet that will build your brand?
There is, of course, no magic bullet. Effective marketing requires a variety of targeted communication tools with a strong marketing message. Think of this approach as building a marketing portfolio, a mix of marketing strategies that ensures that your message reaches your customers and prospects consistently and continually. Whether you have a shoestring marketing budget or a more sizable one, you can develop a powerful marketing portfolio. Here's how.
- Understand your customers. Effective marketing is always customer-centered. It focuses on the needs of your customers, not your products and services. Thus, the more you know about your customers and prospects, the easier it is to convince them to do business with you. Begin by looking at who your customers are and who you want them to be. Understand the pain points or needs that drive them to purchase your products or services. Find out how your customers get information when they make a decision about a purchase. If you aren't sure of the answers, talk to your customers. Conduct an informal or online survey. If your budget allows, consider a focus group. Review over Building a Foundation for Artist Career: Why People Buy
- Develop a strong marketing message. Now that you understand who your customers are, you need to develop a concise marketing message that captures your customers' pain points, your solution and what makes you different. This message should be a succinct, memorable statement of 25 words or less and should be included in every marketing strategy you use.
- Plan. Armed with information about your customers and prospects, develop a marketing plan that includes a variety of marketing strategies. Focus on those strategies that are most important to your customers. Ensure that you are in contact with customers and prospects on a regular basis. Include a timeline and assign responsibility for each task to hold yourself and your staff accountable. Think of your marketing plan as your roadmap to branding success.
- Execute your plan consistently. Once you have developed your plan, execute it consistently. Refresh your website on a regular basis by making it copy rich. Distribute your newsletter at regular intervals. Take part in networking opportunities. Use social networking tools as yet another avenue for reaching people.
- Evaluate and adjust. Closely monitor the results you receive from each strategy over a period of time. If one strategy is not giving you the results you anticipated, consider adjusting your plan.
Build your marketing portfolio consistently and continually and watch your brand grow!
Written By: Joan B. Marcus, president of Joan B. Marcus Communications LLC, helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations build their brand through the power of words. Sign up for a free newsletter that offers practical and low-cost strategies to market your business at http://joanbmarcuscommunications.com. Services include branding and marketing message development; communications audits; marketing communications planning; implementation of marketing tools including websites, electronic newsletters and brochures; writing coaching; and grant development.