Posts Tagged ‘marketing’
When it comes to exporting it is always crucial to have done some homework before committing. Although exporting may not be specific to every start up it is good to have some knowledge on the area. continue reading
As the list of marketing options grows to include social networking, email marketing and whisper campaigns, small- and medium-size businesses must have a solid marketing strategy.
But the truth is that more than half of new businesses don’t bother. A recent survey found that 58.9 per cent of small-business owners don’t prepare an annual marketing strategy or attempt to identify the benefit and cost of marketing. This could be why the failure rate of small businesses is so high in the first year.
The director of Marketing News, Mary Brennan is not surprised by the research.
“A lot of businesses don’t put much thought into a marketing plan and as a result, it’s often done ad hoc,” she says.
“Businesses need to realise that marketing isn’t an expense but a legitimate business-building activity.”
But a lot of small businesses don’t know how to develop a marketing strategy.
“Often they will try a marketing technique based on their own ideas or what may seem like a bargain only to realise it only reached a small percentage of their target market, by which time their budget is blown,” she says.
The classic first step for Irish businesses is something like a leaflet drop or taking an ad out in the local paper. Often this course of action is taken in the absence of any other ideas!
A marketing plan should look at how a business will promote itself to its target audience, usually over a 12-month period.
Brennan says a marketing plan should include a detailed budget and examine the best ways to promote the business.
“You want [it] to take in analysis of your competitors and to have specific goals,” she says.
“It also needs to break down how much you’ve set aside for marketing, how you’re going to spend it, look at who your target audience is and how you tackle internal and external communications.”
A marketing plan for a small business might be only a few pages long but larger businesses often require a more-detailed plan.
The plan needs to be revisited monthly – or, at the very least, quarterly, Brennan says.
Business owners can write their own plan or if they have no experience in Marketing should contact an expert, even having a chat with one or two marketing companies will give you new ideas and an insight into how professionals appraoch marketing. You may not end up hiring anyone but I guarantee you will pick up some valuable tips along the way.
“We found that companies are either too busy to stop and write a marketing strategy or simply don’t place enough value on having a plan in place,” according to Brennan.
Like other key aspects of developping a successful business your marketing activity must be relevant and effective. If marketing is an area of weakness for you find a solution / person to manage it. You may have the best product or service in the world but unless the right people (your target market) know about it you are dead in the water. Do not ignore marketing your business and if your efforts to date have not been succesful it means one of two things …your idea sucks or you are no good at marketing…so which is it?