Abraham Lincoln has been credited with saying, “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my ax.” The point being, of course, that preparation is key when starting a project. Being prepared will make you more efficient and effective.
The same can be said for marketing your small to mid-sized business. Have you spent enough time “sharpening your ax?”
The fact is that some business owners are so busy keeping the lights on, employees paid, and managing inventory that their marketing edge may have become a bit dull.
Here are some tips on staying sharp when it comes to your marketing.
Clearly Define Your Target Market
Know who your customers are, and it will give you a good idea as to who your potential customers are. What is their age? Gender? Education level? Income? What do they like to do?
Know Who You Are
Are you focused on customer service? Experienced? Are you fast, professional, or focused on the budget? Are you nurturing that image or fighting it?
Build Your Brand Through Consistency
Make sure your messages and images are compatible. If you don’t have a tagline, think about creating one. Do you use the same font and colors in print ads and fliers? Do you have a logo? Use it consistently on business cards, vehicles, letterheads, and coupons.
Update Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Is your website up-to-date and mobile-friendly? Are you keeping up with social media and online reputation management? Have you built an email contact list? It is easy to fall behind in digital marketing, but when done well, it can funnel a stream of potential customers right to you.
Create a Marketing Budget
If you don’t budget for your marketing, it can be too easy to ignore it. Create a budget for your advertising and try to stick to it. Make sure you are providing enough fuel to be successful. Don’t confuse donations with marketing. Buying space in the local high school yearbook is more of a donation than advertising.
Sharpening your marketing ax means giving it more thought and being intentional about it. It is one of the best things you can do to increase your business.
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