The adage of “he who shouts loudest will win” is no longer the case. If we’re honest it probably hasn’t been the case for a while. Let’s look at what you should be doing to make your marketing successful.

  • Who should you be talking to?

There are 60 million people in the UK and about 7 billion on the planet; which segment of these do you want to talk to? Even the biggest companies in the world don’t try to talk to everyone for individual products or services. They have very specific target audiences, at whom they aim their marketing at.

As a small business, you have certain levels of resource, either time or money. You need to make the best use of those resources to develop the sales opportunities you need to grow your business.  If you think you can aim at everyone/anyone, I must say that you will be wasting a huge amount of resource.

  • What should you be saying?

There is little point in simply putting your brand out there, alongside a list of the things you do. Today’s customers want more than that. They want to instantly know why they should spend their time talking to you when there are so many others who they can spend their money with.  If you have identified your target audience, have you pinpointed what they need? Have you developed your list of messages that show why they should talk to you?

  • Where should you be talking?

Back in the days before Tim Berners-Lee changed all of our lives, those who could afford it shouted loudly from every newspaper, billboard and public transport poster they could find in order to maximise the number of people who read their messages and then engaged with their brand. Those who couldn’t do this relied on their stakeholder network to bring in business, alongside the obligatory advert in the Yellow Pages.

In many ways the smaller businesses were doing a better job, but big business needs volume purchase levels and so needed to talk to the masses. They still chose the right publications and billboard locations to target the people they wanted though.

  • Waitrose was in the Daily Mail and Telegraph
  • Equinox Telecom works through networking and their partner programme.
  • CANDDI sends lots of email and uses its own technology to track how people engage.

The definition of your target audience will, to an extent, define the channels you need to use to get your messages in front of your Ideal client:

  • Choose the right social media channels.
  • Pick the right networking groups, whilst not trying to just sell to those in the room.
  • What are the other marketing channels most likely to grab the attention of your targets?
  • Don’t stop

There are two things most likely to stop a marketing programme being successful:

  • Stopping after a very short period
  • Stopping because business is quiet.

Recessionary periods are classics for this. Business is quiet so companies cut back, with marketing and training being the ones that get cut. If there are two worse budgets to cut, I can’t think what they are.

When new clients are a rarity, why would you cut the resources that are there to find them? I agree that you need to look at them carefully, but don’t stop what is maintaining awareness and interest.