Whatever the size of your business, marketing is important. We are living in a very competitive environment, new products and services are constantly being developed. Goods and services are also easier to access due to modern technology, so you need to make sure you are ahead of the competition.

Many businesses, especially small ones, underestimate the value of marketing. If you have a clear focus that you want to grow your business then you need to make some time to action your plans. Here’s what the most successful businesses do:

1. Set targets

Give your self a focus, and set growth targets for the 12, 24 and 36 months. Make sure your targets are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). Review your targets each month, doing so will make sure you are on track.

2. Get a marketer

You may decide you want to do the marketing, but if it isn’t your forte, appoint a marketer. They can be employed part-time, or you can outsource.
Make sure you share your company growth targets with your marketer, so they can build activities to help meet your targets.

3. Have a plan

Your plan will be built with your growth targets in mind. Answering the following questions will help you start creating your marketing plan:
• What do you need to do to keep your existing customers coming back?
• How do you sell them additional products and/or services?
• How do you get them to buy more from you more often?
• How do you get them to refer you, new customers?
• What do you need to do to let potential customers know you exist?
• How do you differentiate yourselves from similar businesses?
• Have you got a database of existing and potential customers?

If you have, sending letters, emails and offers becomes a lot easier. Existing customers are more likely to make repeat purchases

4. Document and share your plan

Make sure you document your plan and share it with your team. You need to ensure everyone knows what the corporate and marketing objectives of the firm are. Sharing your plan will give your team a sense of direction and purpose.

5. Execute your plan

Decide how you are going to work towards your targets. What material do you need? Where do your team fit in your plan? Make sure you know who is doing what, and ensure your team know as well.

Create marketing materials, and execute your plan. Don’t forget to obtain feedback both internally and externally, and make changes accordingly.

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