Often one of the hardest things to do is step back and take an objective view of your marketing. It’s not for a lack of desire to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes, your marketing seems to be doing just fine, so why change it? At other times, you may know that something has to change but it feels too daunting to tackle the problem head-on. More often than not, it is simply because you are busy actually running the business and don’t always get the time to stop and review.
It is, however, a vitally important task to do at any stage of business.
When I chat with business owners about what they want to achieve from a marketing perspective, they very often say more sales. Well yes, that is ultimately what a lot of businesses want, but we need to dig a little deeper to find the true reason for marketing changes.
For example, a new start-up may prioritise “quick-win” sales to bolster cash flow which can be reinvested into longer-term strategies. While a business that has been around a few years may have established that they simply aren’t reaching the right kind of clients. They are working hard, have a fantastic product to offer and seem to be attracting lots of enquiries but the conversion of those enquiries isn’t good enough.
While the ultimate goal of most businesses is to make more profit, there are a number of ways to do that and just as many marketing strategies to help you achieve it.
How do others do it?
A few months back, I was speaking with the managing director of a family travel business who knows exactly what they as a business want to achieve. They are not looking to make more sales or even get more customers. Why not you ask? Quite simply, they offer a bespoke product that they own and manage and are not looking to bring on new properties.
What is it that they REALLY want their marketing to achieve?
They wanted to be able to sell their existing products with a greater lead time at a better margin, which in turn makes them a more profitable business.
You see, the travel industry tends to reduce pricing closer to the departure date so that ‘empty beds’ get sold. Let’s face it, once a day has passed it can’t be sold again or stored for another time in the same way that a physical product can. So, in order to make some money rather than none, many (not all) travel companies are willing to take the knock on their margin.
The type of clarity presented by this MD is both refreshing and crucially important for defining a marketing strategy that fits their business. Without this understanding of their priorities, it would be all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to get more people to enquire with the company and not necessarily make the shift in booking patterns that they really need.
So, what is it that you REALLY want to achieve with your marketing?
Here are some ideas to help you start thinking about what your business truly needs your marketing efforts to achieve:
- Greater brand awareness
- Better conversion on existing levels of enquiries
- More upsell opportunities for existing clients
- Shorter sales cycles
- Improved positioning within the market
- Higher margins
- More qualified enquiries/leads
- Increased repeat sales
- Increased referral sales
Once you have established what you truly need your marketing to achieve, you are in the best position to start planning on how to do it. Be mindful of not trying to do too much. Focus on the most crucial one or two priorities and build robust strategies and plans to make it happen.
If you are finding it difficult to isolate your top marketing priorities, you are not alone. It is often helpful to engage the help of someone outside your business to provide an objective view of what can help you move your marketing forward. I have many years of marketing and communications experience that you can draw from to identify your marketing priorities and create strategies to help you achieve them.
To have a chat about what your business REALLY needs your marketing to achieve and how I may help, get in touch.