Probably the most important first consideration for developing a powerful and compelling branding and marketing core message for your business, is to remember an old fashioned but still very applicable advertising maxim:
Say something, say it well, and say it often.
At this early stage you should also ask yourself why customers should buy from you or use your services, and perhaps more importantly why should they even take a second glance. Without strong branding and a persuasive marketing campaign which sells your products or services in a nutshell fashion, consumers may 'walk on by'.
Your core message needs to be benefit oriented because what people are really buying from you are the benefits of those services or products you are offering. Make sure the benefits are spelled out loud and clear, and can't be missed in the translation.
Be sure that customers can easily find you, and give them several options to do so. Your marketing campaigns should direct your prospects to specific actions in an inviting way.
The imagery used in your marketing material, whether that is web based or printed, should enhance your message and intrigue your target audience. Visual stimulation is a powerful medium and can be used in an aesthetic way as a 'background' enhancement, or to be thought provoking. Or both. Either way, graphic elements on a website page, in an advertisement or brochure or similar will get your message across far more effectively than with just the use of words alone. Whoever coined the phrase "A picture paints a thousand words" may well have been a graphic designer or marketing expert.
Understanding your market is a huge asset to your business. If you are too busy or unsure of how to proceed, employ experts who can research your target market and guide you in the right direction to reach that market. Inexperienced companies frequently focus on what they want to say, rather than on what their customers want to hear. A marketing company will ascertain your customer's attitudes, expectations and requirements regarding your product or service, and your branding and marketing can then be created to appeal to your specific market.
Bear in mind that today’s readers don’t read, they scan. Visitors to your website, or someone picking up your brochure, won't read every word. If your market requires lengthy information, provide it somewhere on your website or perhaps on the reverse side of a flyer, but use visually appealing brief messages to make a solid point and then direct the prospect to the further information.
Be prepared to adapt to changes in market trends, technologies, customer demands and so forth. Keep your ear to the ground and review often. Branding should be an ongoing effort, not a one-time occurrence. Look to the example of successful companies and you will see that they change with the times, and update their marketing campaigns as often as they need to. People will become blind to something they see again and again. Eventually they won't see your business at all. A website should never sit static, even when it is there only to provide information. A brochure or flyer should be recognisable as belonging to your company through it's branding, but it should also be seen to provide changing content - perhaps monthly specials, new product releases, a new way to purchase. Never be tempted to rest on your laurels. Consider the recent effect of this on Kodak who chose to largely ignore the digital revolution.
It is important to utilise measurable tools for tracking prospect response. The use of online forms and phone logs can track responses to marketing campaigns. Capturing such information will allow you to strengthen your campaigns and develop new ones.
Referrals and word of mouth can be your best source of business. Once you have customers, take care of them! Ensure that all your customers receive the best possible service you can provide. A happy customer will talk about their experience and won't unsubscribe from your email newsletter or consign your marketing material to the bin. There has been a trend away from quality customer service in recent years. Corporations with captive clients expect those clients to press endless buttons on their phone before they eventually get to speak to someone, or keep them waiting in queues. Sadly this practice has become the norm, even with smaller companies. While tens of thousands of dollars are spent on campaigning for new business, little is spent on looking after those clients once they are locked in. Such ignorant practices provide the opportunity to go one better and promote your excellent customer service as an advantage over your competitors.
Remember what I said earlier about selling benefits to your customers? Fast, quality customer service will be viewed as a major benefit by consumers. If you market such service, be prepared to deliver.
An existing customer base can be your best source of more business. It will pay to ensure your branding is in front of your customers as often as possible, so market to them frequently and provide as many new sales options as possible.
Most people like to be stimulated by offers, package deals and specials that don't require effort to understand. Again, make the benefits the important point in your campaigns.
We specialise in helping small businesses to grow by developing websites and providing internet marketing campaign strategies and technologies, as well as designing effective print marketing materials such as business cards, flyers and brochures and company stationery. We don't provide marketing research services for you, but we can point you in the right direction for expert help.
Call us today on 07 5345 6011 or 0418 723 886 for more information.