When most SME businesses think about marketing they think about the doing stuff. What adverts do we need to gain better awareness? What does our website need to do? How can we use social media better?
The stage they often skip is the most important one and that is about what you are actually going to say in all this activity.
Marketing is the catch all term for bringing your product and service to market. For encouraging people to buy or use and to keep using. So if we stay on this idea of selling then marketing needs to convince people to buy. The activity is just the delivery mechanism of the message that will motivate and convince someone to change their behaviour and engage with your company or brand.
Focus on what will motivate them
It is essential that enough time and rigour is spent defining what will motivate your target audience at the particular point in the buying cycle and then delivering the right message through the right medium to that potential buyer. Getting either one of these wrong and your efforts will be wasted.
Let’s have a look at some examples:
You are a software company who has developed a new piece of software that fills a gap in the market and solves a particular problem. No one will be looking for your product as they don’t know it exists. This audience will be motivated through empathy and recognition of the problem and then education that there is a solution.
Your messaging should be about identifying current problem / shortcomings and that there is now a solution.
Your activity will be around influencing peers and thought leaders in the market so would consist of PR and social media activity backed up by a solid web presence. You could also look at getting a high profile customer to act as an ambassador by trying for free.
You are a consumer who is teetering on the edge of switching to your product. What would motivate them to try something new?
The messaging in this instance would be around removing possible barriers. Endorsements from customers for example would be powerful and you could also look at tactical discounting to allow people to try for less of a financial commitment.
So before you start busily booking ads or creating websites, spend some time with a pen and paper and think about who you are are selling to, what stage of the buying process they are at and what would motivate them to consider your product and service.