The Growth Hub is delighted that Denise O’Leary, director and marketing specialist at Purpol Marketing, will be answering this question. Denise will take us on a journey to creating an effective and engaging online presence through a series of three webinars, organised as part of the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub’s This Way Up: Leadership, Digital, Finance webinars programme. The programme covers such topics as digital, purpose, sales, finance, mental health, and other subjects we know are important to business owners and managers.
- Denise O’Leary, director and marketing specialist at Purpol Marketing
Denise, based in Chippenham, understands that entrepreneurs and business owners are facing huge challenges. During the global pandemic, she is always looking for new opportunities to raise her clients’ profiles and drive their businesses forward. For future success, companies need to understand their marketing strategy, utilise digital technologies, and build or refine their online presence. Denise outlines some key points for consideration here and will provide additional material during the webinar series. We look forward to welcoming you.
Magnificent Marketing Strategies
In the digital age, where customers are being offered more choice than ever, it is becoming increasingly important and increasingly difficult to stand out from your competitors. It is, therefore, important to focus on what makes your brand distinct from everybody else and find ways to get your brand seen.
Know exactly who your target market is
While this might seem obvious, making your brand match the needs of your target market is the first place to start when trying to create a stand-out brand. You need to know your target market inside out, who they are, what values they hold, what they need, what they like and do not like, what solutions they already have available to them. Only once you have this information, can you begin to build a brand that really catches their attention and interest.
Be consistent in messaging
Making your brand stand-out means you need to be consistent with your values, vision, voice, and image in general. A brand that either fails to live up to its vision or is constantly changing its vision or image is going to find it hard to stand out. A consistent message and image will make your brand easily identifiable and memorable – the public knows what you offer and knows what to expect and thus when they need what you offer they will think of you.
Know your competition
Knowing your competition is one of the most important things when trying to build a stand-out brand. You need to discover what makes your brand unique in your industry for it to stand out, and this cannot be achieved without knowing what makes your competitors unique. Knowing what your competitors do well means your business can try to not only match them in their USP but then go one more and enhance your business in other areas and stand out to the consumers as the leader in your field or industry.
Consider Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) involves a business regulating itself and its activity to be compliant with ethical standards and moral obligations. While these responsibilities are not always legally required of a business, complying with set industry expectations as well as developing your own CSR is a good way to stand out as a brand. With the internet comes the ability for brands to pull the wool over the eyes of the customer where environmental and ethical issues are involved. Therefore, making sure your brand carries strong ethical and moral values is one increasingly important way to make your business stand out from competitors.
Strong brand presence
Some of the most successful brands have logos that can be distinguished by customers through the colour or shape alone and taglines or jingles that people instinctively know – think of McDonald's and Adidas. The logo and tagline not only need to be memorable to make your brand stand-out, but they need to reflect the values and vision of your brand as it can often be one of the first experiences a potential customer has of your brand.
Marketing for Recovery
The world is changing fast. Technology has become a huge part of people’s everyday lives, it is so easy for everyone to be connected to friends, family, and the news at all times and across the world through smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TV. Consequently, formulating a successful marketing strategy will constantly evolve. Many companies have had to pivot their businesses towards new sectors and new ways of delivering their services.
Advances in technology have not only made people better connected but have improved how businesses can learn about customers, their habits and behaviour. Technology has, therefore, become a key way for businesses to improve their engagement with customers and, in turn, improve their customer acquisition strategy.
The focus of any organisation should be to develop a relationship with its customers to understand their needs. It is then possible to develop goods or services that meet these needs. Putting aside marketing for one moment, a good strategy will also affect and co-ordinate the activity of your entire business. Think of it as a road map to your brand; a map that not only determines who your target market is and how to convey a good brand image, but one that also directs employees at every level towards making decisions that best accomplish company aims and objectives. The strategy should be referred to at every big decision or meeting, to effectively achieve brand consistency and direction.
Put simply, a successful strategy should outline a mission statement and direction based on research, forming the foundation of a marketing plan. The plan then actively fulfils and delivers what is stated in the strategy.
Using this information, you can evaluate exactly what your customers want/need, how much they are willing to pay for it, and how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Without conducting such research, the business will effectively be ‘shooting in the dark’ and your product or service will likely fail to be ‘on target’.
Engaging with customers on social media
Social media has made it easier than ever for businesses to engage with and build relationships with customers. A staggering 84% of UK adults use at least one social media platform and two-thirds of the UK use social media daily. It is, therefore one of the best and most common places for consumers to learn about your business’ values, products, services, and voice. The engagement from customers can be measured by assessing how many customers liked, shared, or commented on your products.
Content marketing can include whitepapers, blog posts, videos, images, and infographics. Once content has been created, it can be shared on websites, blogs, and social media to capture the interest of potential consumers and encourage consumer engagement. It is important to ensure content shared is relevant and interesting and does not present itself as spam material as this can be detrimental to your business’s reputation and credibility.
Building an online presence
The number of businesses that fail to have an online store is surprising considering the number of people who prefer to shop online rather than in an actual shop. Not having an online store restricts your potential customers to a small geographical area - most are unlikely to travel long distances to visit a particular shop. Having an online store as well as a physical store, or even an online store alone will increase your customer reach significantly, and in turn, your ability to acquire new customers.
Recent technology allows you to analyse your engagements with people online. Whether you are using adverts on websites, social media, or in emails, there are analytical tools to measure who clicked on the ad and what they did afterward, whether they made a purchase, looked around on the site, or simply clicked off of it. This data can then be used to create better-targeted marketing campaigns that are tailored to those who have shown interest in your business which will make it easier to acquire customers and, therefore, increase sales.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation is one of the most important developments in online technology for any business to get right. Optimising your website for the web ensures that it appears high in search result rankings when someone searches a word or phrase that is relevant to your business. Consumers tend not to look past the first page of search results and thus, making your site one of the top results is key to gaining interest from new customers.
While email marketing is not as ‘new’ as other technologies, there have been significant developments to both how emails are created and how their success can be analysed. The data gathered via databases record individual customer interests and recent purchases as well as their names, dates of birth, and other personal information. This information allows emails to be personalised to individual customers which increases their success rates for turning prospective customers into sales. It is becoming increasingly more common to find companies sending out emails to recommend similar products that the customer might like which increases the likelihood of a customer returning to make a repeat purchase.