Marketing lies at the core of your business success. Without it, you can offer the best products and services in the world but no one will have heard of you, so your
sales team will struggle and ultimately you’ll fall short of your business goals. To ensure success, you need a strong marketing engine to drive your business forward. However, for SMEs in particular this can be difficult, since they must navigate a unique set of marketing challenges to overcome restricted budgets, limited resources and the pressing need to build brand visibility.
While professional marketers study for years to hone their craft, there are a few basics that everyone should know before they start.
The Importance of Branding
Branding isn’t just about your logo or corporate colour, it involves everything that contributes to the way your customers perceive you. A good brand doesn’t just
happen, it takes time and strategic planning - see brand development. It has to consider the whole
customer experience, from the visual impact, to the accessibility of your website, the messaging in your communications and the interaction with your staff.
Get your branding right, and it will:
Set you apart from the competition and tell people about your business DNA.
Let customers know what to expect and connect with them emotionally.
Promote recognition, create trust and generate referrals.
Create clarity and force you to stay focused on your core activities.
Ultimately building a strong brand will drive your financial value. According to research from Harris Interactive, “Customer
experience is a high priority for consumers, with 60% often or always paying more for a better experience.”
Part of building your business involves monitoring what your competitors are doing. This should be an ongoing process that helps to provide you with a competitive
edge. By obtaining an accurate picture of the competitive landscape, you can learn from the success and failure of other brands, find better ways to do something, or identify new spaces to compete in
that you hadn’t considered before.
Perform an in-depth competitor analysys to:
- Study the market, predict and forecast demand and supply.
- Formulate a robust strategy for growth and to increase your market share.
- Identify patterns and predict upcoming trends.
- Understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to uncover opportunities.
Discover how to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd
Positioning is similar to the concept of unique selling proposition (USP). It is the process of identifying a market problem or opportunity, and developing a
solution based on market research, segmentation and supporting data. Creating strong market positioning
means you’ll never lose sight of why customers chose you, why they remain loyal to you, and how it gives you that competitive edge.
When determining your market position, think about:
- The strong players in your market, and how you can differentiate yourself from them.
- Becoming a thought-leader, and how you can educate and inspire others.
- Whether you’re a niche player, or have something for the mass-market.
- Creating clear, strong, powerful messaging that communicates your brand value.
- Trial and error – test everything and learn from your mistakes.
Next steps...why you should consider outsourcing your marketing function
There are countless marketing models that
are designed to help you create a marketing strategy that achieves your business goals, minimises your business risk, accelerates your growth and increases your profitability. However, doing
everything yourself goes hand-in-hand with losing momentum and eventually burning out.
Professional marketers implement these models without even thinking. They are experienced at integrating the methodologies so they flow
throughout your strategy and into your marketing tactics.
Our consultants are experienced and fully qualified members of The Chartered Institute of
Marketing. We can help you to analyse your business, create the right strategy and also implement it.
Challenge us now to identify your key differentiators that will set your brand