We are halfway through 2020 now and thanks to the pandemic, for most businesses, the outlook for the year will have changed from the forecast made in January.

So, now is the perfect time to ask – how is your marketing going? Have you taken the opportunity to kick-start your efforts and get a real boost from the new and exciting ideas the downtime has provided? Or, did you start out with the best intentions, but end up doing the same things you always do, and seeing the same results? Maybe, you have been too busy and not had time to focus on your marketing activities? Or are you one of the many who have dialled back in on time and resource spent on marketing, due to the uncertainty of the current market situation? Do not worry – a lot of businesses have ended up in these last categories. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. As we are coming out of lockdown and getting used to a so-called ‘new normal’ there is the opportunity to supercharge your marketing efforts. Here are a few suggestions for you.

Know Who You Are

Before you do anything, you need a clear idea of who you are and what your brand is. Identify your secret sauce – the thing that makes you unique, gives you a voice and sets you apart from the competition. It’s something a lot of businesses will miss, but it can help transform your marketing efforts. By identifying that unique tone and approach, you can create compelling marketing materials that really speak to your target audience in your voice, helping them relate to you and making them more likely to buy from you.

Focus on Your Why, Not Your How

Ultimately your customers don’t really care about how you do something. They care about the problem it solves for them. Many companies will base their marketing on the benefits of their products or service, it’s features and what it can do. But while all of that is useful information, it’s not the reason people buy. If you want to kick-start your marketing efforts, you need to take a long look at why people buy from you, and address that need directly. After all, Silent Night don’t sell you a mattress – they sell you a better night’s sleep. Disney don’t sell holidays – they sell a whole week of family memories you will treasure forever. By focusing on the end result, the fulfilled desire of the customer, you can create much stronger marketing campaigns.

Create A Content Calendar

We don’t mean just a rough written-on-the-back-of-a-napkin calendar. We mean a detailed, event-driven plan that looks at every event, every holiday and every big (or little) thing that’s happening in the next 3 months, and works it all into a single strategy. For example, H1 marketing plans might have included campaigns around New Years, Burns Night, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Lent, Pancake Day and Father’s Day, to name just a few. And those are only the big national events! Once you investigate what’s relevant for your industry (for example I learned that this month is ‘National Picnic Month’), you can use those events as the basis for a lot of your marketing efforts.

Test and Measure

‘Half of my marketing spend is wasted. The problem is, I don’t know which half.’ We have taken a bit of creative licence with the original quote by John Wanamaker, but absolutely true for a lot of businesses. They spend money on marketing with different companies or invest in different activities to help promote their brands, from social media to blogs, websites, billboard advertising, radio – the list goes on. The problem is, they know something is working and bringing in money, but they don’t know what! Testing and measuring is an important part of any marketing effort, as it helps you understand what’s working for you, and more importantly what isn’t. Once you know that, you can focus your time and money on the things that are actually generating you returns and stop wasting money on the things that are not. That can be a challenge with offline marketing, but with a little help and know-how, it is simple to do.

Identify Your Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of those things that many people are still a bit nervous about, but it could be one of your biggest marketing assets. But let’s be clear here – your influencers could be anyone. Maybe they’re your faculty if you work for a university, or the doctors of your hospital, people who sit on your advisory boards or, of course, celebrities (including popular bloggers and vloggers)””anyone who has influence over your target market. Work out who they are and reach out! Tag them on social media, tweet at them, encourage them to share your posts, and maybe even send them some free stuff to review. Use influencers to create a buzz around your products and services

These strategies have worked wonders for many businesses across a wide range of industries. The main difference between marketing that ‘just about’ works and marketing that generates real ROI tends to come down to just one thing – the strategy behind it. By spending some time on your marketing strategy, understanding where to focus and using your budget wisely, you can build a marketing plan which will ensure you have not only a strong quarter, but a strong year as well. And remember, these tips are just the tip of the iceberg! If you would like to know more about marketing for businesses, I would love to help.

Just get in touch with me at PP8 marketing today to book your free consultation.

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