Your marketing budget need not be huge to be effective. In fact, many businesses do not have a marketer on staff simply because their business doesn't need one full time. Not all entrepreneurs think of hiring someone part time or on contract, so they spend valuable time trying to market themselves hoping that something will work -but some do! Wouldn't it be more efficient to focus on running your businesses and continually finding ways of improving for your customers?
Business owners usually have a clear understanding of their business, and know what direction they want to take in terms of marketing, but it is not always the best path to marketing success. Rarely have I seen consistency with certain initiatives without a designated project manager to stay the course, and very often certain tasks fall to the wayside. Something that I find helpful with my clients is a project management tool called AgileZen, which can be used for all sorts of projects and tasks, not just marketing. And you can collaborate with other team members.
- When getting started on a marketing plan, there needs to be a benchmark for measurement. Know where your clients/customers are coming from, and to whom you want to target your product or service. Those things must be aligned first. (ROI).
- Then determine what has worked for you so far and what hasn't. That should be easy. Whatever has worked (say, social media or word of mouth), you will want to put more effort and money toward increasing your reach there. Explore similar avenues and experiment with other methods.
- You will also need the right tools to carry out and accomplish your marketing goals.
- Website (and a continuously updated blog). I used a Squarespace template for my own website, but I also like WordPress.
- Social media accounts (depending on your business, you may only need a few.) At a minimum you'll need LinkedIn and Facebook.
- CRM (customer relationship manager). I recommend SugarCRM.
- Marketing automation tool (for managing and analyzing email campaigns and tracking website traffic, ROI, etc.). I recommend Act-On.
If this seem like a lot, it can be if you are fragmented in your marketing approach. If none of this is your forte, consider hiring someone to help you strategize and execute on your marketing plan - even short term so you can learn how to do much of this yourself. If you need help, don't hesitate to call 303-999-1060 for a free marketing evaluation from Shepheard Marketing.