The key to this question really lies in developing a firm understanding of the fundamentals of marketing. Understanding the cogs that make the business turn, that generate revenue, attract and retain customers really is what marketing is all about.
There are so many platforms available where companies can market themselves and the internet simply adds more options into the mix, but the underlying principles remain the same. If you understand what makes your business tick and what your “offer” is, yo u already have a better understanding of marketing.Where many business owners fall down is that they understand their business well enough (their “features”), but fail to get across the benefits of working with them. Similarly, environments change as do the players within them and SMEs need to stay in touch with changes and adapt with them.
In addition, whilst most business owners recognise the internet is a force to be reckoned with, they fail to embrace the true opportunities that could help to secure the future of their business. In my experience, this new era means a constantly changing environment with factors that need first to be understood and then utilised within your marketing mix.
As an example, before the internet, small service businesses would rely heavily on directory listings in printed media such as the Yellow Pages or Thomson Local to be found locally by their potential customers. You need an electrician so you grab the massive yellow book and turn to E for electrician. These days, Google search has virtually replaced these doorstop directories as we all turn to our phones or laptops to “Google it” instead.
This is where adapting to the changing environment really comes in, by optimising your company’s Google My Business listing it can appear when customers in your area search for the services you offer, simple.
As every business is unique there is no ‘one size fits all’; you must understand and utilise the right mix of ingredients for your business, whether it is all or a combination of the marketing tools available on and offline.
Discuss the job in hand and then play which tools to use to get the job done, that’s a marketing strategy, simple!
The methods are changing rapidly, and your time is precious. So if it makes sense to you why not leverage the knowledge and expertise of a trusted consultant? Find someone with their ear to the ground who can advise you of the current landscape.