If you never get round to writing a business plan (let’s face it, they’re only really necessary if you wish to get a loan or attract investors), always have a marketing plan.
A marketing plan will:
- Keep you on track
- Allow you to measure results
- Know where to adjust your marketing strategy
- Spend only on ‘what works’
- Test and measure on a small scale
- Enable you to plan constructively
- Lowers risk and needless spend
- Enable you to have fun!
It’s necessary of course to implement both online and offline marketing strategies. But try not to do everything at once – or you’ll end up totally overwhelmed and do nothing. Just start on one strategy at a time.
But by not planning your marketing activities you will likely have the following:
SYMPTOMS include …
- Adhoc marketing activity
- No idea of return on investment
- No system in place to test on a small scale
- High marketing costs but little return
- Cash flow is erratic
- Vision and direction is unclear
- Uncertainty in what actually works
Try adding one new marketing strategy per month. At the end of the year you will have implemented 12 strategies.
Always test small and track what is working and what isn’t. If something is going well, let it run! If something needs adjusting change one thing at a time and measure the response.
Here are 12 quick and easy marketing ideas you can implement:
- Join the conversations on Twitter, Linked-In, Face book and other social networking sites that might be of interest – great for creating an online presence. Join me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wendyhoward
- Add an interesting video or clip of your company to You Tube, make sure you include a link back to your website. Visit www.youtube.com
- Start blogging or set up your own blog for free at www.blogger.com
- Submit articles to publications which are of interest to your target market.
- Share helpful tips by email or online networks.
- Approach local radio by offering to give a professional view on an article of personal interest that is currently in the news – this is very popular with broadcasters.
- Offer interesting talks to local groups – preferably ones with a large following of your target audience.
- Offer a free ‘how to’ report or free tips from your website.
- Send a weekly informative or helpful email just to keep in touch with your database.
- Gather testimonials and use them to promote your business.
- Set up a referral system and make it easy for people to make referrals. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking.
So there you have it, 12 easy to implement marketing strategies and best of all – they are all FREE!
Most marketing doesn’t work. Your job is to find out what does work. Have fun and be creative, but ensure you are consistent in your approach and track and test everything you do on a small scale first.