Now there’s a question….…well not surprisingly it’s made up of quite a number of components some of which are obvious and some not so. The starting point is having a strategic plan for the business, and a business strategy revolves around marketing; indeed it is the cornerstone on which a commercial organisation is built. A company needs to understand and communicate with its customers in order to sell its products and services and that is basically what most people consider marketing to be about, however it’s a much wider subject than that. Before you can embark on any marketing campaign be it through traditional paper methods or digital media you must have a marketing plan, and before you can put together a plan there must be a strategy. A strategy requires some other components of marketing such as market research and analysis of the target market and what if any competition is operating within it. This way an understanding is gained of the potential size of the opportunity, where your products and brand stand within it, and what the perception of quality and price point of your company and its products are in relation to your competitors. Now there is a bit more to it than this but essentially before moving forward those are the fundamentals.

Positioning your brand (which could be your company name) is essential at this stage as changing it at a later date can be pretty expensive (see previous blog) so before printing or building anything make sure you take time to think this through. Next before embarking on any creative design work or campaign you need to have a marketing plan. This will detail all the marketing activities, campaigns, and deadlines, along with roles and responsibilities, which should of course link back to the strategy.

Now you can move onto the design and build which is where the brochures, websites, mailings, social media, company collateral (business cards, headed paper, compliments slips etc.) come in, oh and of course not forgetting any branding or re-branding design work that’s required. So when all that’s done that’s it right? Well no, not really. There’s no point going through all that and not putting checks and balances in place to ensure you’re on track. You need to have an understanding of how to measure whether everything you’ve put in place is working or not. This involves introducing measurements (sometimes referred to as metrics) to link sales & marketing costs and activities together to ensure success and efficiency. In addition the strategy and plan should incorporate measurement’s to determine that the plan is progressing as expected or not, these are normally referred to as KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and be prepared to amend your strategy we’ve all become painfully aware lately that the only certainty in life is that things change.

So that’s it now is it……..well…no there’s things like PR (public relations) newsletters, exhibitions, advertising, promotions, flyers, mailers, electronic email campaigns, banner ads, oh and not forgetting social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Big topic marketing isn’t it?……………Luckily help is only a click away…