Ten Marketing Tips for Businesses Big and Small

Posted on 13 September 2012

Let’s just jump right in:

1.  Marketing isn’t something you do for two hours a week – EVERYTHING you do and every decision you make in your business has marketing implications, because it affects people’s perceptions, motivations and expectations about your business. So develop a 24/7 marketing mindset, and think about what you want people to think, feel and do.

2.  Marketing isn’t just about your prospective clients – it’s about every stakeholder, including your past, current and prospective clients; your past, current and prospective staff; your organisation’s members and volunteers; your twitter followers and Facebook friends; your shareholders; the media; potential allies and sponsors; your suppliers; your wholesalers and retailers; your financiers; industry analysts; government policy-makers; anybody who affects or is affected by what you do… So devise appropriate strategies and messages for all those different audiences (while remaining true to the essence and personality of your brand)

3.  Make it easy for people to find you and do business with you.

4.  Even in B2B (business-to-business) marketing, you’re a human being talking to human beings. We’re all “creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity” (according to Dale Carnegie), and we do things to either gain a benefit or to avoid pain/risk. So be endlessly curious about what motivates your prospective clients to do what they do, tailor your messages to appeal to their wants and needs, and write in a conversational style.

5.  Remember the subconscious question that every prospective client is thinking: What’s in it for me (and the people, organisations and causes I care about)? They care about themselves, not about you and your company. So your marketing messages need to be about THEM, not you.

6.  In your marketing material, focus on the results and benefits that people will get and how they’ll FEEL when they do business with you and use your product/service, rather than on the features of your product or the processes of your service.

7.  In your marketing messages, tell people what you want them to do next (in marketing jargon, we call that “the call to action”).

8.  Careless spelling mistakes, bad grammar, poor punctuation, a lack of clarity and an inappropriate style will kill the credibility of your marketing messages. So hire a professional copywriter/editor, and involve her in the very earliest stages of devising your marketing strategies. (Yes, that’s a shameless plug for me!)

9.  Brainstorm about what other products/services your clients use before, while and after they use your products/services, and ally with the companies that serve the same clients as you. (For example, a restaurant could ally with a babysitting service, and a copywriter could ally with a graphic designer.)

10. Be bold in your marketing! Don’t do the same thing that everybody else in your industry does; do something that will make people sit up, pay attention, remember you and share your message with their friends, colleagues and followers.

And a bonus tip at no extra cost:

11.  Tell stories! Constantly be on the lookout for interesting true stories about yourself, your company, your products/services, your clients, your staff, your industry…, and tell those stories in many different formats: blog posts, videos, tweets, case studies, podcasts, ebooks, enewsletters, speeches, infographics, photographs, media releases… (see my blog post, “Give ’em Something to Talk About”).

Do you have a marketing tip to share? Please leave a comment.

2 responses to Ten Marketing Tips for Businesses Big and Small

  • Marketing doesn’t have to be confusing and something you avoid. When you learn the proven principles and practices of professional service business marketing, you’ll feel more confident that you can attract all the clients you need and still be a highly respected professional. In fact, good marketing will raise your profile and increase the trust level with your prospective clients.

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