Answering Your Marketing Questions by: Dave Ostler – Epic Marketing www.marketingepic.com
When you think about marking your business, there are many questions that come to mind. What’s the best avenue for marketing my product or service? How much should I budget for marketing? What promotion will get me the highest return on my investment? The list goes on and on, but luckily you don’t have to do it all alone. The great thing about being a marketing firm is that we’ve answered all of these questions before and can give you all of the guidance you’ll need.
With that being said, we’re happy to help answer some of the questions we often hear. When it comes to deciding to market your business, you should think of it as an investment. You’re investing in yourself, as you should.
Where to start? You should start by looking at your business and product. Ask yourself what sets you apart from your competition and what are the benefits you’ll bring to your customers? Determine who your potential customers are and then determine the best way to reach them.
Once you know who your customers will be, you’ll be better positioned to know how to reach them. First, create your brand around your audience. Once you have your brand established it’s been proven that a combination of print and web is the best approach to market your business. If you don’t have a website, get one and then make sure the content on the site is unique, interesting, and optimized for search engines. Once you have your website, advertise and promote your business or product through the mediums that will best target your future customers.
Now all of this does cost money and as mentioned before, you should think of it as an investment in yourself. Having a marketing budget is crucial because you will want to make sure that you’re not overspending, and at the same time, not underspending. On average, for a small business (generating less than $5 million), it’s recommended to allocate 7-8% of your revenue to marketing. If you’re really looking to grow your business, you’ll want to allocate more. There’s a great blog on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website that goes into more detail: http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/how-set-marketing-budget-fits-your-business-goals-and-provides-high-return-investmen.
Bottom line, once you decide to market your business, you‘ll want the highest return on your investment. It takes a lot of market research and time to discover what marketing methods will accomplish this. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer because it all comes down to who you’re marketing your business to. There are approaches that will work better with one group over another. Keep in mind that it never hurts to look to professionals for help. You know your business and here at Epic Marketing, we know ours.