How healthy is your marketing strategy?

At Opportunity Marketing, we’re sure that, if a company wants to make its small business marketing strategy more efficient and worthwhile, it first needs to examine the health of existing strategies.

By finding out what state your strategy is in – that is, learning how well it’s performing – you’ll discover how much you need to change. In order to help you conduct your marketing healthcheck, we’ve drawn up a helpful six-point checklist. Are you meeting all of these points?

Location, location, location

Identifying the right location for your marketing activities isn’t always as straight forward as it sounds. For instance, if you’re business is selling holiday accommodation in Cornwall, it might be convenient to implement your marketing strategies in the west country – but think about where your target audience (in this case holiday makers) are actually situated.

Are you reaching the audience you need, or could your marketing strategy benefit from branching out further?

What are you selling?

It sounds obvious, but think about what exactly it is that you’re trying to bring to the market, and why people would want to buy it from you.

Once you’re clear about this, you’ll be able to shape the rest of you marketing strategy around it. It’s also important that the strategy you chose is appropriate for your product (or service) – you wouldn’t market beer in the same way you’d market woolly socks, would you?

Cost

This is one to ignore at your peril. Do you know how much you’re shelling out for your existing marketing strategies? Clearly, value will mean different things to different companies, and a marketing solution that costs a lot of money, but works like a dream, is priceless.

On the other hand, it’s important to do your research and compare the market, to be sure you’re getting the best possible deal. It’s possible to spend very little and see a good return – but not always. Knowing which avenues bring you the best returns will help you to promote your business effectively.

Channels

This refers to the ‘how’ of marketing – what methods are you using for implementing your strategy and how can you be sure they’re the most effective ones? Are your methods working as hard as they should be to showcase your product? And is your strategy providing good value for money?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you need to think again. Don’t be afraid to be more agile. Simply attending exhibitions and trade fairs because you always have done in the past doesn’t mean you should in the future if there’s no return.

Getting people talking

What’s your strategy for promoting your services or product? You might try to get the public’s attention with a one-time introductory deal, or you might be working hard to highlight one particularly stand-out feature of your product. Whatever method you chose, how you decide to promote your product to its intended customers will help direct your entire marketing strategy.

Audience and implementation

There are two important groups of people who drive your marketing strategy: your clients or customers, and the staff who run your campaigns.

Look at the people on your team; are they the right people to get the message of your product across to your audiences? Audiences can be unpredictable and there are notable differences between age groups and other demographics – for instance, a marketing campaign aimed at City-Centre students isn’t going to work on a retirement community in the Lake District.

Hopefully these six healthcheck check points will enable you to determine whether your existing strategy is effective.

 

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.