All businesses need good marketing support. Unfortunately, this can be one of the most expensive areas of your business to fund and as a business owner, this may not be your area of speciality. Whether you have been operating your business for a long time or you are a new entrepreneur, if you have ambitions for growth as well as maintaining your existing client base, a good marketing strategy onling with ongoing planning will help to make those amibtions a reality.
So, how do you balance employing the right resources to promote your business as well as focusing on providing high service levels to your current clients? Everything comes down to budget and time. Marketing is not an exact science because trends and buyer behaviour change all the time, so where do you start?
Marketing plan - do you have one and does it complement your business and sales objectives?
Brand guidelines and strategy - what are your values and culture, what does your business look and sound like and how do your target audience respond to your brand?
Your website - do you have one just because you think you should or does each page actually have a purpose?
Communications - should you be investing time and money in print communications or do your clients and prospects expect everything in digital format?
Marketing campaigns - how often should you be running campaigns and what's the most effective channel to use to get your message across?
PR - articles, blogs, advertorials; should you be in touch with local editors to provide them with industry insight to promote your services, or is it better to focus on thought leadership through social media?
Social media - which platforms are the best to use for promoting your knowledge and expertise and would operating a social group benefit your business?
Email marketing - how often should you be using email and what subjects should you be covering?
WHAT SUPPORT DO YOU NEED?
The extent of support available for marketing is vast and what you choose really does just depend on whether you are starting from scratch or if there are specific objectives you are looking to achieve. For the most part your target audience will dictate what marketing solutions you will use to attract their attention and the list above are just some of the areas that having dedicated support will cover to help you build a strong brand and a professional appearance.
YOUR MARKETING BUDGET
As an SME your budget for marketing not likely to be in the same range as some of your bigger competitors, but that doesn't mean you can't be just as impactful and make a splash of your own. We are fortunate enough now to have access to more resources to market your business for free - particularly online. Consumers are much more attuned to seeking education and knowledge via the internet, so using your experience and insight via your website and social media can draw people to seek out your services. If you are looking to grow your client base, you should invest some of your budget into advertising each month, whether that's via email or online. Again, this doesn't have to be take up a huge amount, but with good content and regular promotions, it should pay dividends in widening your reach to your target audience.
The impact of marketing on your business is not only on your bottom line. Perception is also key to delivering new leads and increasing revenue. As an SME business you usually have to spend more time on creating the perception of who you are and what you do to gain the trust you need to build your business. Whatever the size of your business, good marketing support is there to translate your objectives into tangible results by help you make the most of the opportunities available to promote your services. Am I biased? Yes, but as a marketing consultant and entrepreneur I understand that all of these elements take time and investment to produce results, but if you are serious about creating a sustainable business, it's definitely something you should have in place.
DPS Financial Marketing provides a range of marketing services for tactical promotions as well as ongoing marketing support. With transparent pricing, you can see what you will receive and how it will benefit your business.
Looking for help on your communication strategy? Download our guide on the Communication Framework for the Financial Sales Pipeline.