While there are endless marketing tactics you can try, you want to hone in on the ones that will give you the “best bang for your buck.”
Here are some tips on finding the best marketing tactics for your business:
#1: Brainstorm a list of marketing tactics
On a separate sheet of paper, brainstorm a list of marketing tactics you can use for your business. Include marketing tactics that you may not be able to use right away. The idea is to have a master list of marketing tactics to choose from at any time (and at any phase in your business). For example, you may not have money for a commercial now, but it’s still a tactic to include on your list because you could afford it in the future.
Don’t forget to include networking activities, social media posts, business cards, Google Ads – any type of tactic that you think is helpful for growing your business.
#2: Determine your budget
Your budget directly influences which marketing tactics you will choose for your marketing plan. Even if you don’t have a budget, it’s important to know that at the beginning so you can focus on marketing tactics that won’t cost you any money.
Budget does not always equal money, either. Your time is part of your budget too. Determine what your hourly rate is, and use that cost in your budgeting. For example, if you want to host a vendor table at a local community event, determine how many hours it will take you (include preparation) to participate. If your hourly wage is $100, and it will take four hours of your time, then the cost of this marketing tactic is $400. Knowing this amount, are you confident you can exceed $400 in sales at this event? When you consider your time as a commodity, it helps you make decisions on which marketing tactics are worth your efforts.
#3: Be clear on which marketing tactics will reach your target audience
If you have a product that caters to moms, you should find marketing tactics that will reach moms’ eyes and ears. Baby shows, parenting magazines, PTO/PTA meetings – these are all the types of tactics you should consider because they have gathered your ideal client for you. If you are not sure if a marketing tactic will reach your ideal audience, look for another one. You don’t want to waste your time and money with marketing tactics that do not reach your ideal clients.
#4: Be realistic on what you can implement
Once you’ve brainstormed a list of possible tactics, examined your budget and narrowed down your choices based on your target audience, your next step is to be realistic about what you can implement. Your marketing plan is all about attainable action items. Use a marketing calendar to plan out your marketing activities (this will help you from spreading yourself too thin). If you are confronted with a choice between two tactics, ask yourself which tactic will get you in front of your ideal audience for the lowest cost (time and money). That’s the tactic you should always use.
When you approach marketing tactics this way, you will make smarter decisions on how to use your time, energy, money and resources. One final tip: Make sure to assign a goal to each marketing tactic. Then, when you complete each tactic, compare the final results to your goal. Did you meet or exceed your goal? This will help you determine the marketing tactics to use, or discard, in future marketing plans.
Photo courtesy of Toby Fruge’
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