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Marketing is an area that deserves time and attention in your business. Effective marketing activities can assist you to identify opportunities, establish your point of difference and compete for greater market share.

There are many low-cost, high-value marketing initiatives that SMEs can use to enhance their brand and capitalise on client relationships.

One of the first things businesses should do in their marketing strategy is to identify their client profile and how to best reach the most profitable market segment.

Building up a profile

Customer intelligence helps businesses build more profitable client relationships. This requires research, and the best place to start is with your existing client database. Research into your client demographic will allow you to make informed decisions as to the best areas to target your marketing.

Consider the size of your marketplace and whether or not it is growing. It’s also important to analyse where your market is located; its characteristics; their aspirations and their financial circumstances. Segmenting your market will allow you to target your marketing to customers with similar attributes and attitudes. What are the common factors that will drive potential customers to your products or services?

In addition, evaluate the marketing strategies of your direct competitors. Are they offering additional services or products? Do they have a quirky and appealing selling point?

Look at their strengths and weaknesses, as this will allow you to reassess your own and consider areas of marketing that need improvement. A simple, yet effective way to achieve this is through a SWOT analysis – what are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Revise and review

Claire Linton-Evans, vice president of marketing and communications at J.P. Morgan, says businesses needs to create a clear and consistent message.

“Clients are fickle and forgetful and simple ‘top of mind’ marketing techniques such as quarterly communications, Christmas and birthday cards or footy tipping helps established clients remember your brand. The larger marketing spends – websites, advertising, promotions, collateral – help to attract and reinvigorate your potential and new client base.”

It’s important to make the distinction between a goodwill gesture in your marketing strategy and a sales pitch. A goodwill gesture may be holding a free event or seminar to attract new clients by providing information and advice. This may not produce immediate results, but will ensure your business is at the front of mind.

To help spend your marketing dollars effectively, evaluating your marketing spend is fundamental.

Create a system to measure every call or inquiry that that comes in, and note the details: the first question that should be asked is ‘where did you hear about me?’ and record the source.

Linton-Evans recommends building your return on marketing investment by:

·      Having a good database with client contact details (that is, maintaining and updating your CRM system).

·      Encouraging word of mouth of existing clients.

·      Issuing media releases around events, news and opportunities.

·      Regularly surveying clients on different subjects – this can be used as research reports that get issued to the media.

·      Using calls to action (CTAs) on fliers, ads and so on with website details, phone numbers, unique competitions and coupons – that you can track the success of.

If you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.

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