• Family Business Place

MEMBER ADVICE: When you wrote your marketing budget, did you consider your competitors?

Family Business Place Ambassador and marketing specialist, Tabitha Fox, shares 4 questions to consider when planning your family businesses's marketing for the year.

Here’s an interesting question for you, when you create your marketing budget for the upcoming year, do you look forwards or backwards? As in, do you consider what your business strategy is and consider market factors, or do you look at what you spent last year and either settle on the same figure or add a nominal increase? Sadly, the latter is something that we regularly see and can ultimately cause unnecessary frustration and distrust relating to marketing.

Before we carry on, we feel it’s important to point out that a marketing team should always be integral to your business. No matter the size of your company, whether you are doing the marketing yourself or are outsourcing to an agency like mine, it is not a fluffy side-line that’s there to magically get you results. So, it makes sense that any marketing team involved with your business should be fully informed of your business strategy and where you plan to take your company. The most obvious reason for this is that they can work towards the same goals as you, but the other is to see whether your competitors are doing anything similar (or different). The people doing your marketing will know your business inside and out. Look at your neighbours Imagine marketing as a high street full of shops that all sell the same things. While it’s important to consider what makes your shop stand out, it’s also essential to understand what makes people walk into the other shops. No matter how much you spend on your marketing budget, the neon sign from a neighbouring business will always make an impact on your results. However, a clever marketer will understand that you don’t need a neon sign too. Instead, they’ll look at the culture of your business and maybe suggest uniforms for staff or opting for a traditional signwriter, something that improves your customers’ experience and gives you a unique selling point. Our blog Stop comparing apples and oranges might also be of interest. Listen to your customers (and ex-customers) There’s a lot to be learned from reading reviews and feedback, more so sometimes if they’re negative. You may not know what your customers say about your business, but your marketing team undoubtedly do. Because they deal with your company’s digital footprint, fielding social media comments and replies to marketing emails, they will have a deep insight into why people choose you and why they choose your competitors. Your marketing budget obviously impacts the level of customer care and followup that your company can provide. Know your products This seems rather obvious, but when you’re running an integrated marketing strategy for a business, you end up knowing every single product or service they provide. The other day one of our team described how they guided their flooring choices for their new home based on the product knowledge they’d gained from a client six years ago. They live and breathe your business, and they can also subjectively compare what you are offering to your competitors. They’ll know precisely why you cost more than the business down the road and will be able to incorporate it as added value. What’s the end result? By allowing a marketer to become involved in all aspects of your business, you’ll ultimately end up with improved employee alignment with company goals, targets, and identity, creating a better customer experience. And a better customer experience means improved morale and increased revenue. So while we said at the start that marketing doesn’t magically get you results (it doesn’t, it takes lots of hard work), it may be better to say that the magic happens when marketing is embraced across all of the business. That’s another reason why it’s called integrated marketing.

If you'd like to speak to Tabitha about your marketing simply contact her HERE

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