Posts Tagged ‘content’
Marketing may seem to be about promotional activity and pretty pictures on the surface – and it does include that! – but that’s only a tiny part of it. For marketing to be a truly effective business function, it needs to sit within an overall strategy at the heart of the business.
First things first… Before you start doing anything, you need to take a good look at your business and think about what is going to help you to generate more profit and maintain/gain market share.
- Do you have a corporate or overall business strategy?
- Where is your business now?
- What are your main business challenges and do you have a plan to overcome them?
- Who are your competitors and what are they doing?
- Where do you want your business to be in 1,3 and 5 years?
- Do you have a plan to get there?
- Is the nature of your business likely to change over the short, medium and long-term? If so, have you considered that as part of your planning?
- Do you currently have an active business development or marketing plan or schedule?
Sense-check your answers to the starter questions with stakeholders in your business or peers and make sure that your analysis is objective and not skewed by your own preferences and/or concerns.
Get it on paper so that you can formulate this into part of your strategy and planning; you need to be able to keep coming back to this to measure your progress and realign your activities if your business needs change or you find yourself going off at a tangent.
Now that you have a snapshot of your business on paper, it’s time to look at how to effectively market it.
The marketing mix is a general phrase used to collate the different types of marketing activity that a business uses to promote a product or service. This is not set in stone – especially given the pace of change in digital marketing and social media – but the core elements are:
- Brand – corporate identity, values/vision/mission statement, tone of voice
- Research – new markets/customer, channels, products
- Campaigns & Promotions – product launches, sales pushes
- Communications – media, internal, corporate
- Advertising – print & digital
- Events – client entertainment, industry events
- Collateral – corporate brochure, product literature, factsheets, flyers.
Key channels – it’s not just what you do, it’s where and how you do it:
- Digital – email marketing, social media, website
- Face-to-face/live/experiential/activation – networking, exhibitions, sponsorship
- Direct marketing – flyers, door drops, postal campaigns to your target market.
It’s important to establish the right mix of activities for your business so that you work with the natural timetable of your business/industry to manage demand and other priorities, as well as being able to measure the effectiveness of activities, spread out the spend and maximise your return.
For more information or to discuss your marketing needs further, please Contact me.
So, I broke the first rule of online marketing: keep your content fresh and up-to-date. I haven’t practiced what I preach to my clients and I have left my blog, Twitter and company Facebook accounts in the land of nod for several months. Shame on me! If only I could say the same for my personal Facebook account, which has had years to become ingrained in my social life and is as much a part of my routine as texts and phone calls. I do also enjoy being a voyeur on Twitter but I just don’t post much….yet.
Why? Well the simple answer is that I’ve been too busy to give it any thought or time. Again, I realise that sounds utterly ridiculous given that I am a marketing professional running my own small consultancy business. The fact is that I’ve been tied up with a great interim role and all my working time – and then some – has been focused on delivering for that role. My working time is squeezed by the whole reason that I went freelance in the first place…my two young children, family life and my quest for a work/life balance.
Like so many in marketing and financial services, I was made redundant during the credit crunch in November 2008. Unfortunately, my children were 16mths and 3wks old at the time, so I found myself in a situation of stumbling through ‘maternity leave’ with no job to go back to and few prospects.
I put the feelers out for freelance work to no avail, considered retraining and then realised that I was going slightly insane and needed to just get a decent marketing job. It had to be full-time – that is the only option for a senior marketeer without enough established local contacts for project work (I’d relocated prior to the redundant job) – and I was staggered to quickly find myself at the final stage for two great roles.
Two months later, I was in the preferred job, which was right up my street and I loved it. But six months on I realised that c.50hrs a week and frequent trips away were putting a stupid amount of strain on my family life, so I applied for a flexible working pattern. It didn’t work out so I resigned and KH Marketing Consultancy was born in October 2010.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to have a steady stream of work from Corporates and Small Businesses that I’ve developed links with through past working relationships. As with any freelancer, there’s always the possibility that the work will run out, but those I’ve discussed this with say that there’s always something around the corner…and so far there has been.
But I do know that whatever my workload for my clients, I will do my best to keep my own content updated from now on. Promise. And if you haven’t heard from me for a while, then please tweet me @kellyhaslehurst or send me an email to keep my on my toes!