Ten tips to ramp up your marketing

Friday, August 17, 2018

Need some advice to help refresh your marketing? Based on our experience as a B2B marketing agency, helping SMES grow,  here are ten of our top tips for SMEs to ramp up their marketing. 

For many SME’s, the key to successful marketing is all about the implementation. All too often, marketing is the easiest function to let slip when faced with the day-to-day demands of running a business. And you might be surprised with what can be achieved by writing a realistic marketing plan that focuses on a limited number of monthly activities and sticking to it. Here are ten tips, you might find useful to consider, when developing your 2019 Marketing Plan:-

Who are your most profitable customers?
Take a long hard look at which customers are making a significant contribution to your bottom line and which customers could in fact be costing you money.

Understand your customer lifetime value for each customer segment. This analysis will help you identify who are the key generators of your revenues and profits - clients, which superficially might look unprofitable in the short term, could in fact generate significant profits over the longer term.

And whilst, there might be a good reason why you choose to keep marginally profitable clients in the short term, have a strategy planned for these customers so that they do not become a drain on your valuable resources.

Conduct a Product or Service Review
Are you in a growth market – or could your product or service become obsolete in the foreseeable future? Has your service or product range moved with the times? Are you making good use of technology to deliver your offering? Perhaps there might be gaps in the marketplace that could provide a profitable new market segment?

Keep an eye on your competitors
Monitor the activities of both your immediate competition and suppliers of alternatives that your customers could use. In what areas are they particularly strong – and do they have any weaknesses that could present an opportunity for your business?

Always strive to improve the quality of service
There is always room for improvement. Get your clients to tell you what they really think about your product or service. An annual customer satisfaction survey provides a good baseline against which you can measure future years – this can be quickly set up using a tool such as surveymonkey. And don’t forget to ask your customers for their feedback when you meet them.

Implement a series of “one percenters” – these can be quick, inexpensive ways of improving the service that cumulatively can have a significant impact on the quality of service delivered. For example, answering the telephone in three rings, reducing invoicing errors, providing a FAQ section on your website can all contribute to improving the overall customer experience.

Check if your marketing collateral beyond its sell by date
Be objective. Is your brand looking a bit tired and no longer appropriate for your current and future clients? Subject your website to s 5 second usability test for some unbiased feedback. Ask clients, prospects and advisors what they think of your brand, your marketing collateral and website.

Look at your sales funnel
Do you have a structured lead generation and lead nurturing process within your business? Whilst your business development strategy can be a relatively simple process, do you have a clear idea of the actions, marketing collateral and contact strategy for each stage?

Try something new with your communications strategy
Based on the results of past years, what is the best way of communicating with existing and potential customers? Whilst these tried and tested approaches should form the basis of your strategy, don’t forget to try something new each year. Perhaps this could be exhibiting at a trade show, hosting a product showcase or testing entry into a new overseas market

Monitor your results
A good marketing strategy depends on monitoring key performance indicators. This need not be complex – but having a clear set of KPIs will help you evaluate which marketing activities have been most cost effective in achieving your objectives and which activities should be discontinued in future years.

Think Local
Whilst this does depend on your target market, having a local focus and being sympathetic to local needs and circumstances can reap rewards. This does not mean you should limit your business to one small market, but rather that even if you operate in multiple locations you should conduct your marketing in a localised manner that appeals to local customers. Many of the world’s biggest firms have follow this approach, with many companies such as Sony utilising the concept of “Think globally, act local” in their business strategy.

Improve your social media presence
With the growth of social media it is now almost impossible to consider marketing without looking at some respect to social media. Social media can be a remarkably powerful marketing tool. Simple ways to improve social media include encouraging customer feedback, beefing up your blogging, maximise visual impact with evocative images, or re-vamping popular old content to generate a new buzz. However, for more in-depth general advice on using social media please see our blog on the subject, or our more specific blog focused on the effective use of LinkedIn.

If you would like to talk to a marketing agency, specialising in B2B and professional services firms, please do get in touch. We would be delighted to discuss your marketing strategy and how best to implement your 2019 marketing plan.