When you have determined your target audience you should decide what message you are trying to get across to them in your marketing. If you have more than one target market, this message could be different depending on the potential customer. It may also be necessary to focus your marketing in different ways - read more about product strategy - positioning and differentiation.
To create a successful promotional strategy, you need to create brand awareness amongst your customers. Brand awareness relates to how well your specific product is recognised by current and potential customers. Read more about the branding: the basics.
There are a number of forms of advertising which you can use to create brand awareness within your customer groups. Methods to consider include:
- advertising: the basics - eg business directories, magazines, newspapers, billboards, radio or TV
- public relations (PR) - eg press releases, launches, events or tours
- sales-based methods - eg coupons, competitions, discounts, gift vouchers, loyalty incentives for existing customers
- direct marketing: the basics - eg sales letters, email, mail order catalogues, packaging designs or point of sales displays
- search engine optimisation and pay-per-click and paid search advertising
- social media marketing and advertising
You could also consider attending dealer or showroom events, exhibitions or trade shows. This allows you to take advantage of any sales opportunities that may present themselves there and reach your target audience.
Selling to existing customers
You may be able to increase awareness of your product or service by marketing it to your existing customers. If you understand your current customers you should be able to develop ways to target them and increase your brand awareness. You should aim to target your most profitable customers.
You should also encourage existing customers to promote you to associates, as word of mouth recommendations can be very influential when developing a brand.
Read more about how to sell more to existing customers.
Timing and measuring your campaigns
Whatever promotional strategies you use, you should time your activities to reach your target customers when they are most receptive. You should develop strategies that combine both long and short-term activities - eg special offers or competitions.
Measuring the effectiveness of your strategy is also important. This can include asking new customers how they heard about you, or using surveys before and after every marketing campaign. You could also monitor your website traffic and use individual promotional codes for specific sales or offers. These can help you determine what is and isn't working and show you where you can improve your campaigns.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- What you need to do about health and safety
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services