The most difficult products and services to market are the newly created ones. It’s a challenge in itself to market a brand without the existing awareness or market-share of a well-established brand, and with budget, time and resource restraints it can feel near impossible.
And yet, marketing done right can become your biggest driver of customers and revenue. Abandoning the often perceived “superfluous” investment of marketing will cost your business because marketing can actually provide that cash you’re trying to save.
Effective marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Marketing isn’t about throwing money endlessly into advertising. Marketing is about building a reputation for your brand that attracts new customers. It’s about using everything in your business - including sales, marketing, operations - to create and deliver value to your customers.
There are plenty of highly effective, low-cost marketing strategies that you can use to grow your business. A quick Google search will provide you with lists of the ‘best low-budget marketing tactics,’ from social media to content and email marketing. Despite how low-cost these tactics are, investing in all of them will wear your team thin. So how do you choose the right tactics to invest your time into?
The Criteria for Marketing Effectiveness
Determining the most effective marketing tactics for your business starts with first understanding your strategy. Answer these three questions to determine the marketing activity that will be most effective for your brand.
1. Get to know your ideal customer like the back of your hand.
Your biggest advantage as a small business is how close you can be to your customers. Take the time to identify your ideal customer and where they want to go, and then craft a brand and an experience that helps them on that journey.
“Actually talk to your customers. Use the language that they use. Talk about the things they talk about. Never feed salad to a lion.” – Jay Acunzo
2. Why should your customer pick your product or service over another?
Almost every new business is selling a product or service that already exists or will soon be replicated. You don’t have to be the first to market, but you do need to define how you want your brand to be perceived - in relation to your competitors and in the mind of your consumers. Stop listing features, and instead start telling your customers how you will get them where they want to be.
3. What are you trying to achieve?
Performance should never be left to chance. Before you get to the tactics, determine your objectives. Every marketing tactic you choose and every piece of content you produce needs to be supported by strategic, SMART objectives.
The takeaway? The most effective marketing strategies are those that deeply understand their audiences, are focused on the benefits for the customer (from their point of view, not yours), and are informed by organisation-wide objectives. Once you establish these three steps, you will have built a strategy that will inform your marketing, ensuring the tactics and activities you choose are effective and drive real results.