Marketing your business can be a nonstop, exhausting task. Over the years we have many conversations with our customers about the struggles of doing it all. in 2008, I decided to help with this, and came up with a marketing booklet and scheduled some marketing classes to review the booklet and help business owners be powerful about their marketing plan. The whole goal, is to help it not be an overwhelming task. Here are a few ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed and get the most out of your marketing efforts:
- Create a SWOT analysis, which is a strategic planning method to evaluate your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By identifying and understanding these four areas of your business, you can more easily create a strategy that will distinguish your company from the competition, so you can compete successfully in your market. I have created this chart, that we personally used in the shop with our employees. It helps them become a part of the process and are eyes where we may not see.
- Establish your Unique Value Proposition, which pulls you away from your competition. So many business owners think that what they sell is what people want, however, there are others selling the same thing. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Craft the right message, that speaks into the listening of your prospects and clients.
- Create a wish list of marketing initiatives, as well as a list of necessary projects with realistic deadlines. Schedule a weekly or bi-monthly meeting to review your progress, identify issues that are holding you back, and reassign tasks or projects. I also suggest a calendar, so you can put themes, deadlines, and plan ahead, saving you time and money from rush charges. It also keeps you from flying by the seat of your pants!
- Learn from others. Collect examples of marketing materials or creative ideas that caught your attention, and organize them in an ideas binder. Combine your favorite traits from each into marketing ideas that are customized for your business. I have a box of samples of direct mail pieces and marketing ideas that we collect, and it really helps me come up with some nice looking pieces without too much struggle!
- Communicate with other departments in your business to gather new marketing ideas. For example, your production crew may suggest highlighting a new product feature, while your sales team may receive suggestions from customers about requested promotional ideas.
- Find a marketing intern. Interns can provide a lot of value… if you let them. Interns are best utilized to help you reach business goals. For example, consider assigning interns to manage social media accounts, write articles and other blogs to increase your web presence, develop creative campaign ideas, etc. Interns can help relieve capacity issues and “test” new hires before making them official.
And most of all, consider outsourcing projects if you or your team doesn’t have the time or resources to complete an important project. Print & Copy Factory has a wonderful team of designers and marketing plans that can also be a great solution to keeping up the pace without hiring permanent staff. As an outside party, we often ask those sensitive questions to help pull you out of the slump. Also note, sometimes doing it yourself, puts out the wrong message, looking cheap and not well thought out. Hiring us, also, may seem more expensive up front, however, we hear people designing brochures for weeks using Microsoft Word, and it looks terrible, while we could have something done in a few hours, looking professional.
Whatever you do, just realize that hiring a professional, can really help with putting the finishing touch on your marketing efforts. Print & Copy Factory can offer helpful advice, creative ideas, meet tight deadlines, and provide a quality product you will be proud to distribute. We’re here anytime your business needs help putting your best foot forward.