Whatever you may think of it, you cannot escape marketing. No matter what your business may be, you will need to make sure customers are aware of your store and have a reason to patronize it. In a wider, digital marketplace you enjoy more means by which to do so, but also suffer the greater overall competition.
Preventing your business from drowning in competition, however, is easy enough for an entrepreneur with the will to succeed. But it does require some knowledge and currency about trends and methods, both new and old, and some insight into how it fits together. Below, we'll discuss a few things to keep in mind when you approach the issue of marketing your business.
People are fickle and easily bored. Sad as it might seem, people quickly become numb to things they encounter frequently, so you have to take care not to let your message grow stale. Of course, maintaining a core identity is a good thing – consistency keeps what novelty attracts. But eventually everything must change, and your marketing strategy is no different.
When advertising, try to be original and fresh. Look at past marketing campaigns and ask “What worked? What didn’t work? Why is this? What could I change? What should I keep?” All these questions will only strengthen your brand.
Sometimes this even applies to the core elements of your branding, such as logos, slogans, and company mottos. Overall themes, less so -- if you sell feed, you may want to keep a consistent motif that's relevant to your speciality. But even a great logo in a well-established brand can use a facelift once in a while.
There is nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from other companies when trying to market your brand. If another business ran a campaign that was visibly successful, it's worth finding out why that might be. But there’s a difference between inspiration and mere mimicry. You don’t want the latter.
Remember that each company is unique. What works for one company may not be as effective for yours, so always remember to bring anything you learn from others back into the context of your own business.
Likewise, no one likes a copycat. If customers think you’re aping after a more successful rival too closely, this may well turn them off. Why go after a cheap imitation when they can just get the real thing? Instead, learn how to cast the competition as a paler imitation of what you bring to the table.
Customers are people and like to be treated as such. Your marketing should reflect this, as should your brand. Customers should never feel that you’re only interested in their wallets.
One good way to personalise your brand is to know your market. Who is your core market? Are they young, middle aged, or pensioners? Are they professionals, or students? White or blue collar? Urban, suburban, or rural? Modern and innovative, or traditional and classic?
Adjusting your marketing campaign as you answer these questions will help you ensure that your brand resonates with the people it’s supposed to attract, and allows you to secure a dedicated consumer base. While this may not necessarily make you fabulously successful overnight, it does anchor you and provide the much-needed foundation for further growth.
A longer term strategy should always involve responding to customer feedback, too. If a large number of customers react negatively to your marketing, or the way your brand is presented, respond as soon as resources allow. This shows you listen and are interested in their input, which translates into stronger consumer loyalty.
Never forget your core demographic.
Remember Traditional Marketing Methods
Never neglect the physical appearance of your business. As well as investing in social media, radio, and television ads, make sure you look at your signs, flags, and banners. Traditional methods may not seem as flashy, but they are tried, true, and very cost-effective for attracting customers to your business. Build a Flag, for example, offers a great range of products you can easily design on their website.
Avoid being sucked into blue-sky marketing. While flashy advertising campaigns certainly stick in the mind, they’re very doubled edged. If they succeed, they might really succeed. But the reverse is also painfully true. Keep current on new methods, take a look at what other people are doing, but always remember to ground it to your business, your customers, and what works for you.
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