Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. Aaron and Terry continued our conversation from July 22nd on Using the Slow Times to Build Your Business. We’ll wrap up this subject with a discussion on Marketing… using what we’ve done in the past, and planning for the future. Great tips and tricks you can use today to build your business through marketing.
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Build Your Business Through Marketing
Using the Slow Times to Build Your Business – Promotion & Marketing for a New Season
- In July we talked about buying equipment, adding staff and work shifts, and several production floor improvements you could make for the coming season. Slow time will vary from business to business depending on your own marketplace, so when you do this planning will vary as well. Now, we’ll finish up by talking about promoting your business and your product line.
Reviewing what we’ve done:
- Break down what your do to market your business, whether it costs money or costs time.
- Let’s look at all the ways you might have promoted your business… all the obvious paid ads, social media interaction, but also things like free shirts and hats, flyers in the boxes, sponsoring events and teams, etc.
- Might even want to back it up a bit further and make sure you know who your customers are and who you want your customers to be. Review your current customers and figure out which customers you want more of or more from. Then you can use this information to compare and analyze what of the items we just talked about and how the lead to your target customer.
- Some promotion examples that a company could look at and how to determine results?
- The key is what you said about measuring results. If we can’t measure the results in some form it is probably not worth doing.
- Shows, Fairs, Street Markets: Great opportunity to get Face to Face. Many times it can be a little hard to measure the results because your absence at times can say more about your business than attendance, but have a goal before the event. Get New Customers, Make Sales, Scan Leads, etc. Make sure that trackable piece is the same for every show/event and then you can take the cost to do the show divided by the goal and know how much each event cost per show and then know what to do next year. Shows to Skip, Show to focus differently etc. (Terry’s NBM Long Beach example)
- Social Media: I could do a whole show on this and I have several times for seminars etc., but Social media is really about the time and focus. There is a ton of noise, so it takes consistency, measurement, and tweaking. Use a service like HootSuite so you can track engagement and know when it is best to post. Again set your goal for why you are using social media and then my suggestion is to divide by time spent on it, not the money Sure you can (and should) pay to boost posts, but Social Media is really about the time you spend focusing on it.
Budgeting time and money for a new season:
- Promote specific products and specific events/seasons when your customers are in the market for those products, etc.
- I think we could all do better with this and it comes back to my soap box about having a marketing plan. We all do it every year where we have these great ideas, but they don’t really work and we say to ourselves we will do it next year, then next year rolls around and you get to Father’s Day or whatever day works for your clever idea and last minute you remember. Then you try to throw something together last minute and it becomes an epic fail.
- Cutting or revising what didn’t work.
- Just because we did it last year, doesn’t mean we have to do it again. If it just doesn’t fit anymore, stop doing it. Time to stop the yellow pages ad maybe? Maybe your marketing budget is smaller this year. That is OK. It’s not like a government budget where if you don’t use it, you lose it. Save it up to throw it into your budget for next year.
- Adding new promotional concepts.
- This is a good time to add that next tool onto your marketing tool belt. You got really proficient with the Hammer and Saw, and now it is time to add a power drill. Try something new and roll it out during your slow time so you can tweak it and make it work perfectly so it is up to full speed by the time your busy season rolls around.
Putting the plan in motion:
- What are our goals? What is it we want to achieve with these promotions?
- Start with Why – Simon Sinek. Focus on you and not your competition. Make clear goals for your overall marketing plan and each planned promotion. Then if something comes up in the middle, you can easily throw the same tracking theory around it and run with it.
- Create that schedule – a physical schedule – and make it as much a priority as ordering product or meeting production deadlines.
- If you have a team you should meet about it regularly, and not just with the sales and marketing team. Make sure your whole company knows what the plan is.
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