Marketing a business is exciting but challenging – it takes time to develop relationships with your customers and create brand loyalty, and not every marketing campaign achieves the desired results. So what are the key marketing challenges that businesses face and what can you do to overcome them?
From small budgets, to a lack of resources we’ve put our thinking caps on to come up with solutions to some of the biggest marketing challenges and how to overcome these challenges by working smarter, setting realistic objectives and planning ahead – along with a good helping of creativity and innovation for good measure!
#1 Budget and resource issues:
Small marketing budget or no budget at all? With limited finances it can be hard for businesses to be as creative and adventurous as they want to be with their marketing. This, coupled with resource squeezes such as less people covering a wider range of activities, means that prioritising your resources – time, people and money – is critical.
#CETip: Create a marketing plan
Without a strategy to work towards, how do you know where your squeezed resources will be best placed?
You don’t need a huge marketing team, and you can create great marketing on a shoe string budget. The key is to have a plan. Your marketing plan outlines your objectives – exactly what you want to achieve; as well as a strategy and tactics for how you will achieve these goals, with a timeline or when these actions need to take plan. It acts as your marketing roadmap to point you in the right direction.
#2 The digital age
Managing your company’s brand in the digital age is a real challenge for businesses large and small, especially when considering social media and content marketing; where comment is open to all, your brand is exposed to criticism and individuals freely generate their own content.
The challenge here is in producing enough, relevant content, to keep up with consumer demand for information and content consumption – to build relationships and trust in your products and services.
#CETip: Remember to educate first, sell second
“Create content that is meant to help your customers, not sell to them. When you freely give your audience something so valuable that they’d be willing to pay for it, you build trust – which, ultimately, is your most powerful selling tool”, says our Creative Director Russell.
Try to create four educational, entertaining bits of content for every one “promotion”. This approach will also work well in email marketing, on your blog, and in social media. But this approach isn’t just about numbers – at its heart, it’s about educating first, selling second.
Focus your marketing on building relationships with your audience and making their lives easier. Keep your content informative, valuable, and relevant. Do this and your audience’s trust will follow.
#3 Targeting the ‘right’ customers
Precise targeting of the right kind of profitable customers is a massive component of your marketing. Targeting customers is effective when it’s done in line with customer needs, by identifying customer personas to determine who you should be marketing to.
For a potential customer to use your company – whether it’s to purchase a product or use a service, they won’t even consider listening to your marketing messages or reading your content unless it offers some sort of value to them. It needs to fulfill a need or desire of theirs – such as your product’s ability to solve their problem.
#CETip: Be precise and relevant
You need to develop a detailed picture of your target audience. The best way to understand your audience is to build a ‘customer persona’ which includes things like demographics (age, gender, geography), psychographics such as needs, desires, and also behavioural aspects such as the type of media they consume or where they socialise in their spare time. Once you’ve done this, you can then match your offer/message to provide them with value that’s relevant to them.
#4 Brand Positioning, awareness and loyalty
Positioning your brand and generating the right level of awareness is perhaps one of the hardest things to get right because it’s entirely based on people’s own perception. You can’t control what people’s perceptions will be of your products or services, but you can influence them. Your main goal should be to position your brand in your target customer’s mind so that they perceive you to offer them something that other brands can’t, or fulfil a specific need, then create awareness through marketing and promotional campaigns. All with a longer term goal of increasing brand loyalty – repeat purchasers who love your brand and stay loyal because they feel you add value in some way. A great example of brand loyalty is Mac users who show real dedication to the Apple brand.
#CETip: Create a positive customer experience at every touchpoint
There is no exact formula, but you can take a ‘continuous improvement’ approach. Brand loyalty is an end goal that takes time. If someone is loyal to your brand, they will continue to purchase your products and positively endorse you through word of mouth. This type of true brand loyalty is hard to come by in today’s competitive marketplace, but you can influence it by ensuring your customers have a positive experience with you every time they come into contact with your brand – whether in a shop, at an event, on the phone – and if they do have problems, that they are dealt with quickly, in a positive way – ending in customer satisfaction, or hopefully, delight!
Complete Branding Solution
We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.