Hints & tips on maximising your return on investment in marketing to help growth.

Getting a new venture off the ground or even growing an existing business can be tough! We work with a whole range of SME businesses and, with finance being a core service, we can ensure companies are making investments in the right places to ensure they achieve success… but often that does not include much, if any, focus on marketing.

It’s a common misconception that marketing is all about flashy expensive adverts and big budgets but, especially with so much emphasis now on customer engagement combined with the popularity of digital marketing, nothing could be further from the truth. Marketing in today’s commercial world is all about ensuring that your potential customers know about you, what you can offer and why they should buy from you instead of your competitors… and this does not need to cost the earth, in fact there are lots of things you can even do for free!

It’s a well-known fact that those who make sensible investments into marketing are more successful, so let your competitors become the ones that fade into the background while you work on making sure your message is heard loud and clear.

Here are a few tips to help you on your way to success…

Plan & Follow-Up:
It’s common sense but before you do anything don’t just jump in feet first, think about your objectives and what you want to achieve – develop your marketing strategy – even if you are a small company you need to have a full understanding of what you want to achieve and a plan of how to go about it. Don’t forget the other end too… follow up on your marketing efforts wherever possible – if you’ve been to an event, call or email any contacts you made as soon as possible. Also analyse how successful you have been so that you can learn from your experiences, what did/didn’t work, what would you do again and how could it be improved.

Online Activities:
You’re here reading this… it works! An effective website is invaluable, when searching for a product or service most people now turn to the internet first so you need to make sure you’re there. Websites can offer more flexibility than a printed brochure as you’re able to react immediately to any new circumstance eg. new product/service, prices changes etc. If you already have a site, make sure it’s up to date and do what you can to improve your search engine ranking.

Online Social Networking:
The possibilities here are endless, and free! Get yourself connected with business associates, ex-colleagues, university friends and even your old school pals – and then connect with all their contacts too! Tell them all about yourself and what you’re up to now although best to avoid any hard sell, just subtly promoting your business at the same time by getting them to visit your website. People like to do business with people they know or who have been recommended – so put yourself out there and start building your online networks! You can even start up your own online groups and communities with customers, prospects and associates to get them all talking about your company.

Focus on ROI (Return on Investment):
If you are operating in the ‘business to business’ market then focus your messaging on return on investment. If companies are going to invest in you or your product then they want to know that the product/solution that they are going to buy will either help ‘make them money’ or ‘save them money’, so let them know how you can contribute to that.

Mutual Partnerships:
Hook up with other local businesses who offer complementary products or services and figure out ways that you can support each other. Provide links to each other’s websites, maybe provide access to customer databases, run joint marketing campaigns, guest blog spots and pass on sales leads to each other.

Improve your Identity:
Make sure you stand out from the rest – ensure that you have a strong brand identity and logo so that people remember you. Make sure it gives the right impression about your business – if you are running a professional business the last thing you need is a logo made from clipart or a flyer knocked up in Word, this can often do more harm than good, so don’t be afraid to spend a little to achieve a lot. If you have a mobile workforce, make sure your vehicles are branded and acting as mobile adverts. Also, don’t forget to always include your website address on any communications – it’s so much easier to remember than a phone number.

It’s not always sensible to increase your fixed overheads by hiring more permanent marketing staff and if you don’t have the time or the skills to do it yourself consider outsourcing your marketing requirements – enabling you to take advantage of all their skills and experience but only when you need them.

For more information on our finance services, please email hello@yourrighthand.co.uk or call 01252 820002 and speak to our regional team. We’re always happy to help and offer a free two-hour initial review to help you understand how to make valuable changes to support the financial aspects of your business.