You’re an awesome entrepreneur, your product is even better, and it’s time to take your business to the next level. But the thought of marketing your product or service without killing the bottom line seems daunting. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be scary, and you don’t need a zillion-dollar, Starbucks-sized budget to see maximum bang for your buck. Here are a few ways to get the best return on your marketing investment.
Step #1: Know Your Customers
The first step for getting the most for your money is gathering information about your customers so you know who to target. Who are you selling to right now, and what are their needs and wants? Where do they hang out? Where do they live? Answering these questions can help you build your overall strategy. Why? Because if you don’t know them, how are you going to be able to create messages that will motivate them to take an action? If you are willing to put in some time, research costs can be kept to a minimum. Talk to your customers. Unless they are in an unbelievable hurry, most people don’t mind spending a few minutes talking about themselves. In fact, they’re usually flattered. And don’t forget about social media. Facebook and Twitter can be the perfect tools for surveying your clients.
Step #2: Get Strategic
Once you know whom you want to serve, it’s time to strategize. And although it might seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You have to get it down on paper and be intentional with what you are going to do with your end goal in mind. Your plan should include:
Goals with deadlines
Definition of what success looks like
An implementation strategy
While making your plan, remember the company with the biggest marketing budget doesn’t always win. There are a lot of free ways to get your name and product out there, including offering informational content about your products or services via a professional blog or social media. The whole point of marketing is providing value to your customers. It’s what is going to bring them in and how you can build trust with them.
Step #3: Track It
One of the biggest mistakes small-business owners make when it comes to marketing is not tracking their efforts. You have to measure, measure, and then measure again—every call, click and walk-in. As Dave says, “You don’t get better if you don’t look at what you did wrong, and you don’t know what you did wrong if you don’t keep score.”
By knowing your target audience, making a plan, and measuring your actions, you’ll be ahead of about 90% of your competition, and you’ll soon see your efforts pay off. It’s definitely worth the investment of your time.
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