A few months ago, I posted about how to do your own strategic marketing. It's not an easy process which is why most ambitious business owners get a consultant in to implement their strategy for them.
I've worked with a lot of businesses who have worked with a consultant before me. But many tell me they've not been very impressed with the results. The reason is invariably because the consultant was thinking tactically and not strategically. For example, they were focusing only on their area of expertise such as social media or PR.
Unless you know what to look for, this can be difficult to spot. The impact might not be felt until it's too late, when a lot of time and money has been spent.
So, here are the signs to look for:
When the sun’s out and the kids are off school, there’s always something that feels far more important than my marketing. As hard as I try, my usual marketing rhythm and motivations seem to go out of the window over the summer holidays.
For all of us, there are periods when our usual marketing rhythm has to change, perhaps due to a seasonally busy period or because you’re away. So, here are my tips to make sure your marketing is working hard even if you’re not…
I get asked this question a lot. And whether it’s a new website, Facebook ads, email campaign, leaflet, brochure, or event, I always come back with the same four questions. So here’s they are:
1. Why are you doing it?
What do you want to achieve with this marketing activity? And be specific! “To get more sales” is too vague.
You need to know what is the end result you are hoping for. What do you want people to feel, think and do as a result of coming into contact with your marketing? Do you want them to go to your website; book onto an event; call you? Why would they want to do that? How will your marketing get people to do this?
Make sure you have a strong call to action that prompts people to do what you want them to do. Make it as obvious as possible what action you want people to take and you have a much higher chance of your marketing activity being successful.
Bringing someone new into your business isn’t an easy task. And, as a small business owner, you want to make sure that the person you bring into your team not only has the skills you’re looking for, but the experience to help you continue to scale up.
But this creates a hurdle that stops a lot of business owners in their tracks…
They don't have the budget to hire an expert Head of Marketing or experienced Marketing Manager straight off the bat.
So, if you find yourself in this position, what are your options?
I love quick wins, don't you?
When I first started baking with my children when they were toddlers, we made microwave mug cakes. All you have to do is throw all the ingredients in a mug, mix it up with a fork, microwave it for a minute or two and voila! A tasty hot dessert.
And when I'm planning marketing with my clients, we always start with the quick wins. What can you do in less than an hour that will make it easier for people to buy from you? Get those quick wins ticked off straight away.
But not everything in marketing is a quick win. A lot of marketing activities take time, especially if your business is like mine and has a long buyer journey.
Contrary to popular belief, marketing is not one “skillset”. A large, diverse marketing function needs a broad range of different skills. And every small business will need a different combination of these 6 marketing personality types…
🖋 The content lover
👥 The customer experience master
🔎 The data guru
📈 The salesperson
🥷 The automation Ninja
🧩 And the project manager
Most people are a combination of a lot of these personality types, and it's important to note that each of these skills can be learned. But, as a business owner looking to recruit your first marketer, it's vital to consider where people's skills naturally lie to find the person who’s the best fit for the job you’re advertising.
I don't think I’ve ever had a 90-day marketing plan go exactly as planned.
Even now, after nearly 18 years in marketing, something always crops up and throws a spanner in the works.
This quarter for example, we pursued an exciting new opportunity which led the business in a new direction. This meant we had to completely revise our 90-day marketing plan in week 6. We identified a new ideal customer and created a new product at around week 8. And then at week 10 Katie was off ill with covid for a week which meant lots of tasks had to be rolled over to the following week.
Despite all of this, this quarter has been our best in a long time!
It’s always important to be reminded that, just because things haven’t gone to plan, doesn't mean you’ve failed.
So when things aren’t going to plan, how do you get things back on track again? Well, when spanners pop up, you have 3 options…
By Katie Evans
If I had to sum up this last year in one sentence it would be this…
A steep (but very enjoyable) learning curve!
It sounds like a bit of a cliche to say, but every day since starting out at Ros Conkie’s Marketing Academy, I’ve learned something new. From the big things like how to build a strategy and format a marketing plan to why you should never leave a word in a headline on a line of its own.
So, here are the 10 most important things I’ve learned in this last year…
Over the last 12 months, I’ve developed my Apprentice, Katie, into a brilliant Marketer. But it wasn't easy and I made mistakes along the way.
For most small businesses, their first marketing hire is usually a graduate, junior marketer or Apprentice.
It’s a logical choice for a first marketing hire because much of the work that a small business CEO wants to hand over is marketing admin. For a business under £1m turnover, it doesn’t make financial sense to hire a highly experienced marketing professional when most of the work will involve updating a website, collecting data, writing emails, and creating social media posts.
But a Marketing Apprentice is unlikely to have any real marketing experience or knowledge - they’re learning, which is why they’re on an Apprenticeship - and it will take time for them to develop the skills to start leading your marketing activities. Here's what I learnt about how to get the most out of a Marketing Apprentice in a small business.
Do you treat your marketing goals like your New Year's resolutions?
They mean a lot to you when you first set them - when you’re motivated and eager to get started. But a few weeks down the line, you lose interest and casually push them to the side, never to be thought about again?
Marketing success is all about making sure that your goals and your plan work for you.
So, here’s my top 3 tips on how to set yourself goals you’re actually going to stick to this New Year (especially if your original ones have already gone out the window)...
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