Promoting your brand in the modern era is not as easy as it once was. Not long ago, maybe fifty years or so, marketing was a simple discipline. But it has become one of the most complicated areas of the modern business with so many different facets and niche areas that it is very hard to know where to start. But if you are running your own business or start-up and you are wondering where to start or how to spend your marketing budget, here are a few ideas and thoughts to help you get the best return on your investment – because remember, everything is measurable now.
Online is the best place to start
Almost every business these days has an online presence, and if your company is not playing on the internet then you are missing a trick. Digital, with all its new acronyms and theories might not be your area of expertise, and that is completely understandable, but that doesn’t mean that you should not be spending here. The old-days of phone books and yellow pages as a means of discovery are long gone, in the digital era, if you want business you need a website and a strategy to make you discoverable online. Look to partner with a reputable digital marketing company as they will know all the latest trends and angles in the online space. Digital will give you the biggest reach at the best price, it is a great place to start.
Part of the digital strategy, but a separate area, is social media. This is a great place to hold and host conversations and to engage with your audience. Modern marketing is not just about positioning and messaging it is about engagement and touch-points and social media is a great place to allow this to happen. Modern marketing is a two-way communication, not shouting from the top down.
Don’t just spend money if you cannot judge and measure the return on you spend. Before you jump into any campaign decide what the key performance metrics are going to be and then work out what you are prepared to achieve them, and how you intend to measure them. And you need to think smartly here – obviously the goal is to drive sales, but an increase in sales does not necessarily imply a successful marketing campaign. So, while increased sales is the desired outcome, what are the milestones along the way that would help differentiate one advertising or marketing campaign from another.
In the same way that social media allows for the brand to interact and engage with the user, so too do activations allow for this to happen. Activations can be expensive but with the right strategy and the right people on the ground, an activation can make for a very good experience for the user. In case you don’t know an activation is an event or a presence on the ground, with your ambassadors meeting people, handing out merchandise or throwing an event. Activations are a great way to spend your marketing budget if you have a small, locally based company that will thrive in a community.
While online is king, it doesn’t mean you should forget about offline. One of the best ways to increase brand awareness offline is through gifting promotional merchandise to your existing customers. Whether it’s a t-shirt, a pen or a frisbee, make sure it’s relevant to your business and it’s something they will use on a regular basis.