Anna Downey is the co-founder of Buzzbar – London’s first walk in media and marketing shop, as recently featured in Forbes. Ahead of her sessions Tactical Marketing workshop at City Business Library, we asked Anna to share some of her tips on good marketing.
As any business owner knows, coming up with a great product is only half the battle. Good marketing is crucial for your business. Here are six steps to get you started:
1 – Know Your Market
Market research may sound like an industry buzzword, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your product or brand. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sure, there are third party companies who can produce reports for you, but there’s no reason why you can’t do a little digging yourself. In fact, getting to know your customer is one of the best time investments you’ll ever make!
There’s a golden rule in marketing: you cannot create demand. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires are fantastic, low-cost ways to tap into market sentiment and find out what makes your (future) audience tick. By tailoring your product to their unique frustrations and desires, you’ll build a stronger brand with a relevant and eye-catching USP.
2 – Target Your Audience
It’s tempting in the beginning to view your target audience as anyone who is willing to pay for your product, but that’s not a sustainable long-term plan. Once you start developing an advertising strategy, you’ll find that trying to speak to everyone is costly and inefficient. That’s why early audience segmentation is so important; by splitting potential customers up into categories, it becomes easier to focus your time (and budget) on well-defined groups.
The main characteristics to look out for may change depending on industry, but features such as location, age, gender, occupation, and disposable income levels are key to any good marketing strategy.
3 – Develop an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is exactly what it sounds like – a quick, intriguing summary of your business that can be rattled off during a routine lift encounter. You’re probably used to people asking what you do, but are you using that opportunity to make a convincing sales pitch? If not, it’s a good idea to start now. After all, you never know who might be listening.
A fun, memorable description of your product is sure to travel further than a disjointed story about self-employment, as your listener is much more likely to pass on a newsworthy business idea to friends and family. At the very least, you’re laying the foundation for future investment rounds!
4 – Create a Strong Visual Brand
An effective brand is so much more than a logo; it’s a reflection of who your audience desires to be, and it’s one of the main reasons that a customer is drawn to your product over a competitor’s. Consistency, quality, and relatable messaging are the pillars of your brand’s reputation, so you really want to ensure that you’re investing in these from the get-go.
Good branding is consistent across all channels – from website to email and social media – thereby facilitating a sense of trust between business and customer. When the way you present yourself is reliable, it makes your product seem more reliable by extension. The money you save by not hiring professionals won’t be enough to stave off the inevitable re-brand confusion a few months down the line.
5 – Leverage Your Community
This one sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many people neglect their personal networks when it comes to starting a business. Pride, fear, and a sense of not wanting to “bother” people with our problems often comes into play. In reality, every idea needs a community – whether it’s for testing, feedback, or just general cheerleading. Bigger companies just happen to pay for the privilege.
Reviews and first-hand testimonials speak volumes, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with old friends, colleagues, and customers to ask for their help. Use your contacts wisely by attending a variety of networking events – even those outside of your usual niche – and make the most out of your social sphere. Your social media profiles will thank you for it!
6 – Get Online (Properly)
Yes, you’ve probably got a twitter account that you started two years ago, and a Facebook page that you’ve shared with your friends, but are you really using the internet to its full potential? Statistically speaking, probably not. It’s common for small business owners to feel overwhelmed with the pace of digital marketing, with many too busy to sit down and figure the whole thing out. Fortunately, a slick online presence really does pay dividends.
A well-made, responsive website, crisp logo, solid copy, and a consistent colour palette are the bare necessities when it comes to reliable branding, giving your audience the impression that their needs are in good hands. Once you start advertising (and spending real money), you’ll see the importance of brand visibility and recognition; after all, it’s all about building a presence that instantly clicks, persuades, and converts.
Book your place at Anna’s Tactical Marketing workshop here.
Buzzbar is London’s very first walk-in media & marketing shop, offering individuals, entrepreneurs, and SMEs a wide range of creative specialists all under one roof. From personal branding to custom websites and tactical marketing, we’ve got everything you need to build a memorable and lasting presence. Book your free consultation today!