Brand and marketing
Brilliant business idea! But why’s no one buying? Marketing helps ensure that people find your business. Brand, on the other hand, helps your business stand out from the crowd.
Do you want people to find your business? Market it! One simple mistake new business owners make is forgetting about marketing. Not even a brilliant business ideas is enough if customers don’t know anything about your business.
A brand makes your business recognizable and helps it stand out from the rest. A strong brand entices customers to buy and at its best recommends your business to others. You should build your business’s brand purposefully from the start.
Thinking about the following aspects and marketing basics will help you get started
What are the goals of marketing? Who are my target groups?
Customers and their needs are the basic premise of marketing. Who you sell to affects how you should market your business. Start by thinking about the goals and target groups for your marketing.
Do you want to make your business more recognizable or bring more visitors to your website? Are you trying to get customers to buy a certain product or service? Are you pursuing new customers or enticing old ones to buy more?
Effective marketing requires focus on the desired target groups. Think about your answers to the following questions. You might have already thought of these when writing your business plan:
- Who are my customers?
- Where are they? Where and how can I find customers?
- Why would they buy from me, not my competitor?
Where can I reach my customers?
Next, you can think about the channels and marketing efforts you can use to reach your customers. How you should spend your marketing budget depends on the sector and customer segment. Selling more to existing customers is always cheaper than acquiring new ones.
Digital marketing channels include websites, email marketing, display or banner advertising, search engine marketing and social media. Traditional marketing channels include newspaper advertisements and direct mailing.
A business’s marketing materials can include brochures, flyers and newsletters.
Don’t underestimate the effect of the grapevine. Customer referrals are worth their weight in gold. To get them, you should pay attention to how you treat and serve customers.
Business directories that telemarketers try to sell new business owners don’t necessarily bring customers. Instead, you should start your own loyal customer register and ask your customers for permission to send them marketing. Remember to read up on data protection legislation.
Invest in content
High-quality, easily found content on your website and other channels is also a form of customer service. Frequently Asked Questions and other easily accessible information help your customers and reduce the need for them to contact you directly if they have a problem.
For example, you can think about the types of customer problems you want to offer a solution to. Interesting, attractive and insightful contact can also get potential customers interested in your business.
You should start using the Internet and social media immediately, because that’s where everyone is. You have many marketing options online, from writing posts to creating newsletters and guides.
What size marketing budget is appropriate?
There is no one correct answer to this question. Your businesses financial situation and goals have a bearing on this. You can begin with a very small budget.
A new entrepreneur does not always have a large budget, so you should keep your marketing cost-effective and simple. In the beginning, this could even mainly consist of promoting sales personally.
The first thing you should do is set up a proper website for your business. Even just a social media account could serve as your business’s homepage, at least initially. Make sure that search engines can find your business’s website.
Many marketing partners are available if you are willing to pay for the help. You should think carefully about what you want to spend your time on and what is worth outsourcing.
What is a marketing strategy and how is it created?
The businesses marketing strategy puts its marketing goals in one place. At its most basic, it defines who the business communicates with and how. The strategy, and the marketing plan arising from it, help harmonize marketing.
A marketing strategy is created like any other strategy:
- Set goals for marketing: for example, increased sales, new client acquisition, increased recognition. Include also metrics for measuring whether goals are met.
- Define the target group and tries to understand its needs.
- In the strategy, establish what media you use to reach the target group and sets roles for different media.
- Think about the messages and/or content you use to arouse interest (or get customers to buy) and how you will stand out from the competition.
- Include the marketing budget and how it will be spent on different media in the strategy.
How can I develop my marketing and communication skills as a business owner?
You can find instructions and tips in printed and electronic guides, blogs, videos, podcasts, webinars and open online courses. There is also a wide range of paid courses and training sessions about various areas of marketing and communications.
Suomen Yrittäjät runs many different courses for its members, including on marketing and sales. See what we offer. The Finnish Enterprise Agencies can also offer you marketing tips.
The best person to encourage a business owner to develop is often another business owner, even from another sector.