10 marketing tips - A listicle
1. Perfection is a threat to getting anything done.
Perfectionism will unnecessarily hold you up. If this is your business, often you'll feel incredibly connected to it. Like it's your baby, or part of your identity. A reflection of self. It's hard to let something go to market when it's not 100 percent. But ask yourself this, when will it be 100 percent? And, will it ever be 100 percent?
Remember, close enough is usually good enough, and in a crowded market, you will be competing against people who put their foot down on the accelerator and just go. Which would you rather be?
Don't let perfectionism be your achille heal.
2. Not everyone needs to write a book. Target your communications mix to your audience.
So many people attend marketing courses and get fed the same steak and three vege of marketing and communications. This diatribe often culminates on the need to write a book. Not everyone has to write a book and not everyone has a book in them. Have you looked at the status of books up against other media (like social, podcasts etc)? They don't hold up. As a writer, this is a tough one for me to deliver, but as a communicator it's a no brainer. Leave the book writing to authors, and instead meet your audience at the place where they are consuming media. Focus on ROI not ego.
3. Be strategic (yes, that terrible buzz word).
It's totally a buzz word - I feel like I'm on utopia just mentioning it. Conversely, it's important. If you have limited funds to spend, you need to be strategic. That means a clever and targeted campaign, based on your audience and converting them. Run your campaign on a shoe-string budget, it will force you to be wise in your media, channel choices and approach.
4. Talk to your audience.
Who are they? And, where are they? Often I meet SMEs who think think they have a great product and service, but have never conferred with the audience. They're missing out on so much potential in terms of finessing their product or service and making it completely in-tune with their target market. These people are going to be the one's purchasing your product, don't force a service on them they don't need, shape it to ensure it's what they want. Also, gather an understanding of where they are consuming media. What channels are they using or listening too? Tailor your marketing plan accordingly, so your meeting them in the right place.
5. Always try for a warm lead.
There is a theory from an American scholar, Zajonc: the mere exposure effect. It means if people are exposed to something, it becomes familiar to them, and they are much more likely to engage and purchase the service. Pretty straightforward - but incredibly wise. Make sure you're not going in cold if you're pitching a service. You want to make sure your audience knows you and your product. Pick up the phone, have the conversation, get out there - don't hide behind emails.
6. Read and take advice from the best.
There are so many great sources of marketing advice which predict trends for the future, and recap what's currently in market. The Edelman Trust Barometer (released every year, and predicting trends in trust), OPR's Future Five etc. See what's already out there. The majority of these studies have copious hours of research as background: they're tried and tested sources. Learn from them and apply their advice.
7. Don't over complicate.
With a plethora of channels out there, it's easy, even for communicators to over-complicate. Suddenly a strategy goes from some earned media and thought leadership, to podcasts, ambassadors, digital and social etc, and quickly there are 100 spinning wheels in motion. Simplicity is key. Peel it right back and decipher what's the most strategic approach to reach your audience.
8. Be authentic.
Another buzz word - but incredibly true. Don't try to steal someone else's vibe or jump onboard with something because it's all the rage. Reflect your existing values and principles, otherwise you'll risk coming off as a phoney. Stick to who you are and stay on message.
9. You're people are your brand.
Often a crucial mistake. Your people are your brand. If they don't reflect your business, you have an issue. Often poor customer service and major issues spring to light as a result of employee disatisfaction, or simply, employee confusion. Your people are your biggest asset. Invest in them. Draw them in, give them buy-in, make them feel integral - and always keep them informed.
10. Make sure your digital presence is up-to-date.
This is the first place people will go to find out more about business. Don't worry about writing a book - make sure your LinkedIn is up-to-date and your website is too. Have the right information up, the content people are looking for. It might be your first (and only) opporunity to grab their attention!