21 October 2015

Jack Reid, Marketing Assistant at B2B marketing agency The Richmond Marketing Consultancy, outlines some key points to keep your marketing on track.

‘The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.’
(Peter Drucker cited in Kotler, 1997; p. 33)

Whether your business is just setting up or a well established SME, marketing is one of the keys to getting ahead in the business world. However, when was the last time you looked at your marketing? Has your marketing become ineffective, if not slightly stale? This article will outline why good marketing is important, as well as outlining 5 important questions all growing small and medium sized businesses should ask themselves to improve their marketing.

Why marketing is important

Good marketing can help small businesses stand out from the crowd. An important aspect of good marketing is building a corporate brand that influences every aspect of your business.

Effective branding can really help build your business grow by being distinct from your competition and inspire confidence in you as a trusted provider.

But remember! Your brand is not just your logo, but a range of tangible and intangible elements, including the way you interact with your clients, your marketing collateral and the look and feel of your premises.

The 5 Golden Questions 

Setting up a business requires a multitude of diverse skills and a great deal of hard work. After a few years of successful trading, it can be worthwhile putting your business under the spotlight. These questions can be helpful in fine-tuning your marketing strategy.

1. How well do you know your target audience?

Review your target audience. Who are your typical clients and how are you helping them achieve their business goals? Are there any new niches that could be more profitable to your business? Does your marketing appeal to your current and prospective clients? Where are your prospective clients likely to look, when searching for your type of product or service?

2. What do your customers think of you? 

Or more specifically, what do your clients like and dislike about your product or your service? Ask your clients to be frank. How do they perceive your service? What do they like about your service and in what ways could you improve? And why are prospects perhaps selecting your competition rather than you?

3. What makes your business unique?

All businesses are different – and work out what makes you stand out. Take advantage of this, be clear about your unique selling proposition – why should someone use your service rather than one of your competitors? Can you and your team sum this up in a sentence? (Try this one out – it is surprising how many businesses find this difficult)

4. Is your marketing consistent?

Your marketing is every part of the business; therefore your marketing and brand should be consistent. To build your brand, all the elements need to work together. Are all client touch points presenting a consistent image? Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Does everyone, across the departments, answer the telephone in a pleasant manner?
  • Does your reception area’s appearance let you down?
  • Is your vehicle fleet clean and well maintained?
  • What image does your finance function present to clients and suppliers?
  • Do your website and your marketing materials communicate the essence of your business? And, is it consistent across your marketing collateral?
  • Do your offline and online digital presence look and feel like the same organisation?

5. How regularly do you actually review your marketing?

It is easy to get in a rhythm and to forgot the importance of marketing, but in a fast shifting and fluid business world up-to-date marketing has never been more important. Taking your eye off the ball and it is easy to miss the next big thing.

Don’t forget to formalise your marketing review processes to make sure they happens regularly. Identify key performance indicators and monitor these on an ongoing basis. And most importantly, keep your marketing central to every function of your business.

If you need a B2B marketing agency to help refresh your marketing, please get in contact. We would be delighted to hear from you. 

Kotler, P., 1997. Standing Room Only: Strategies for Marketing the Performing Arts. s.l.:Harvard Business Press.
This blog was originally posted in August 2012, but has been completely rewritten and updated to reflect current thinking. 

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