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Simple 5 step marketing

Marketing your Brand isn’t rocket science. It’s just takes some consistent investment – And a spreadsheet.

1 July 2012

Step 1. Set a Budget

Start out by knowing what percentage of your sales can be re-invested into marketing so you can work to a plan. Then set aside a portion of those funds for last-minute opportunities that pop up (e.g. Ad space you get offered at a heavy discount or maybe a great public relations opportunity that comes your way). This way, you’ll avoid any knee-jerk reactions or cost blow-outs.


Step 2. Test Ideas Small Scale

Now that you’ve got a budget in place, test ideas before you spend a lot promoting them. Market research and focus groups can cost a lot, so here’s some quick, inexpensive ways to get the ball rolling. Offer two online coupons with different messages and see which one gets a better response. If your business has a receptive social media following, try the same thing. Keep testing messages until you find a winner. Then take that message to the marketplace. Dropping alternate flyers with different messages to a suburb can work for some types of businesses too. (See which one gets more calls). But remember, you’ll have to have a lot delivered because responses this way are generally only a few per hundred.


Step 3. Be Consistent

When you’ve decided on the message you want to take to the public, make sure it’s consistent. Your Branding should never just change for the sake of it. The same goes for your ads. People need to see (or hear) your message a few times for it to really sink in. Give your message time to be heard, and make sure you keep track of responses so you know which line of enquiry they’ve really come from (i.e. radio, flyer or press ad) without guessing!


Step 4. Track results

A lot of people rely on gut feeling or something someone said to know if their ads work. But truly tracking results from your marketing is vital to work our what each lead is costing you. (i.e. The cost of an ad divided by the number of leads from that ad = Cost per lead.) Once you know the cost per lead, you'll know which marketing messages give you the best returns. You'll also know how many leads you need to secure a sale. You also need this information to check if your budget is enough (or sometimes even too much) to realise your sales goals.

Special note: If you think a message isn’t working, test whether it’s the message or the media you’ve chosen that needs rethinking. To do this accurately, your message needs to be out there in more than one place at a time. If you’re getting leads but they’re not converting into sales, review your sales process and address any barriers preventing sales. Once you’ve tracked results long enough, you’ll know where the natural ups and down of your industry are. Counter them when you can. Prepare for them when you can't, so they don't take you by surprise.

Step 5. Be more than one place at a time

There are oodles of places people can hear your message… Online, TV, radio, junk mail, sponsorships, print brochures, signage, vehicle graphics, press releases, word of mouth, email marketing, directory listings and social media. To build and grow a Brand you WILL need to employ more than just one or two of these. Remember… Tracking results will tell you which kinds of marketing work best for you. Testing will tell you which message to use. And adjusting your budget according to cost per lead will make sure you have realistic expectations and set achievable marketing goals… 

© 2012 PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220