The biggest hurdle to marketing is now time rather than money. Business people have to address time in order to be consistent in their marketing efforts. This means blocking out marketing time in the calendar.
This message was part of an excellent talk called 'Marketing Today', given by Chris Butler of CB Marketing. The purpose of the talk was to teach small businesses the key things to consider when marketing their businesses.
Chris Butler's recommendations:
- Break the year into quarters. Plan 12 weeks of marketing activity then review it (and do this four times over the year).
- Try things for three months to see if they have an impact (not just a month).
- Choose fewer ideas/offers/calls to action – but put more thought into those ones that you do choose.
Chris also emphasised the importance of doing your homework so you can figure out what customers want. An important part of this work is asking your customers what they want.
Three forms of marketing:
Magazines, online display.
2. Direct marketing
Business people (especially New Zealanders!) often feel squeamish about directly contacting their customers. Chris said it's what people don’t like to do but need to do. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen?
Central to an online marketing strategy is a clear, clean, friendly website that is able to be found.
Traffic generating activities for your website are:
Planning the content in blogs is important, because these can then go out to social media; and an accumulation of blog content can be summarised in an e-newsletter. They also help with SEO.
A person in the audience asked how frequent these should be. Chris said a business with new product offers could send out messages once a week. However, for a service such as an engineering firm, an e-newsletter once every three months is about right.
- Social media
Social media is more prominent even than a year ago. Social media is no longer just something for young people – all ages are accessing it.
Google Ad campaigns can help you where SEO isn’t getting your website on the front page of a Google search. Two options are search ads and display ads. Display ads appear when a subject is searched, and Chris said this seems to be more effective than search ads.