By Brian PhoI believe marketing your brand correctly is probably more important than the sales process itself.
Recently, I have been working with a marketing / graphic design consultant in order to unveil new brochures for our company and some important questions came up which face most businesses.
How do we communicate our brand?
- Would potential customers know what we do with theu use of only a few simple words?
- Are traditional ways of sales taking a back seat to digital marketing and social media?
Customers are busy people with short attention spans. They only need your specific service at specified times during the year. At other times, you don't exist. Your marketing material should be direct and to the point. The fewer words, the better. Flashy brochures and creative design just won't work with busy people. I believe specialization in niche markets is key to marketing success.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding social media. I believe social media should be an important part in any marketing strategy. However, I also believe social media should be considered as a strategic add-on to traditional marketing strategies and not replace standard sales techniques and tactics. Social media can extend the brand into the digital age, however, standard sales process must be applied in order to build relationships (not contacts or friends) with your existing vendors and customers.
Keeping Customers Informed
The last part of a marketing strategy is the most critical. How do we keep customers aware of our brand presence so when they need our product / service, they come tpo us to serve them. This probably takes the most work but is also the most critical.
Using social media, maintaining a blog and sending out e-newsletters is one way to keep a brand alive in the digital age. A company might also use approved and effective SEO strategies for their website, however once again, SEO can only take you so far.
There is no replacement for the human connection. In addition to keeping a brand alive in the digital age, we must meet our customers (face to face) and keep our customers informed about us and how to find us. Attending networking events is the first step in keeping customers informed. Following up with key contacts, getting involved with the local community through community events and being involved with key city committees will help keep your brand alive and thriving to stand above the competition.
Overall, I believe marketing is a very important aspect in any business. It is great to have a perfect product or service, however, if one does not know how to market that product or service, your business will have no active market share. Marketing does require a lot of work and sometimes it will not result in instant results. However, if marketing is done on a consistent and frequent basis, over time your potential customers will notice your brand.