Strategic Marketing Choices
Marketing is typically the last thing that a business owner wants to think about, but it is actually one of the first things that need to be considered for building a successful security business. Without it, you probably won’t have a business for long. Simply put…every business needs customers, and security firms are no exception.
A good marketing plan doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complicated, but it does need to be updated and current. Even though the basics of marketing don’t change that much, the vehicles by which those principles are effectively brought to the buying public are constantly changing. Marketing should be planned with expenditures of time and money specifically allocated in a way that will garner good results.
By following a few fundamental steps to create and update your marketing strategies, you can ensure an ongoing flow of customers, which translates to an ongoing flow of income.
Know Your Niche Market
A niche market is a specific part of your general target market (the people who are most likely to want the services you provide). A good marketing plan starts with identifying your target market…for instance, businesses or individuals who need the products or services you provide. From there, you narrow it down to a niche market on which you will concentrate your marketing efforts. Niche markets are easiest to ascertain by using one of the three following categories:
– You identify a certain type of customer, i.e. people who are retired or young couples with children, or restaurant owners, etc.
– For this niche, rather than concentrating on the customer you want to attract, you specify the type of service you want to market. Even though you may offer a myriad of services, for marketing purposes, you may want to concentrate on one particular service.
– In this instance, you would be concentrating your marketing efforts on a particular geographical area.
It’s important to understand that a marketing niche simply means the person, service or location on which you will concentrate your marketing efforts…it does not mean that you will only do business with this particular niche.
Create An Action Plan
Marketing should never be done with a ‘seat of the pants’ approach where you buy an ad here or participate in a function there…where you have a website, but don’t know a thing about SEO(Search Engine Optimisation i.e. getting to the top of a Google search).
For marketing to be effective, it’s important to have an action or marketing plan that is created for an entire year, allocating specific actions to be done at specific times for generating optimum results.
In a broad sense, there are two categories of marketing: local and Internet. While local marketing is important to announce your presence and keep your name and services in front of the buying public, it is imperative that every business — no matter the size of the business—have an Internet presence as well. Many people who are unfamiliar with the Internet have the perception that Internet marketing is only necessary if you are trying to reach customers all over the country or all over the world. That is no longer the case. Many people now use the Internet to search for local businesses much the way they once used the telephone book.
While your action plan will need to be created specifically for your business and your marketing niche, the following are a few key factors that should be considered for both local and Internet marketing actions.
– Don’t overlook their importance. Keep them with you all the time and hand them to develop name recognition in your local area. There’s no point in having them nicely tucked away in your desk drawer.
– Often overlooked by many firms…especially smaller ones…a brochure is a defined synopsis of your business that can be handed out to prospects or left in areas where your ideal customer congregates.
– Every area has some type of communication media whether it is a newspaper, magazines, radio or television. And every one of these media outlets is looking for stories and information…and editors typically scan press releases to find the stories and information they are looking for. Become familiar with press releases or find someone who can do them for you to help establish your expertise, publicise your community involvement, or provide information that will bring you to the attention of the buying public.
– Your current customers are your best marketing tools…ask them for referrals.
– Be an active part of your community to help get name recognition for your company.
– Join networking groups or local business groups where you can meet people who are either a part of your niche market or can help communicate your services to your niche market.
The costs for Internet marketing are extremely affordable and can be highly productive if managed well.
– Keep it up-to-date and SEO optimised…and if you don’t know what that means, find someone who does. There are Internet traffic companies that can help you attract local customers to your website so that you are targeting the specific customers that you want to attract.
– Using email to communicate your expertise or to provide your customers and prospects with information that will be helpful to them is a great way to keep your name in front of your niche market and ideal customer. Don’t overdo emails, but monthly or quarterly newsletters that are done well can be very effective.
Social and Professional Online Networks
– The Internet has created a new type of marketing called social media, which is a format where like-minded people link together via the worldwide web to exchange ideas and information. The strongest sites for business interaction are: www.Linkedin.com; www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com
– Many businesses use blogs as a way to promote their business and establish themselves as an expert in their field. There is no expense to create a blog…it can be done at www.wordpress.com and then linked to your website.
Tracking Your Marketing Endeavours
One of the most important parts of any marketing strategy is to track your results, but many businesses forget this important step. It’s easy to do…when someone calls your office or comes in as a new customer, simply ask them how they heard about you. And then record that information. By doing so, you will know which part of your marketing action plan is bringing in the desired results. The 80/20 rule which applies to many things in life is especially true for marketing: eighty percent of your results will come from twenty percent of your efforts. It is critical to know which of your marketing strategies are covered in that twenty percent so that you can consistently recreate the action and thus the results.
As I said, marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, it just needs to be targeted, planned for, and executed on an ongoing basis in order to bring you the results you desire.
To obtain a free copy of our Shocking Report “The 7 Big Mistakes That 72% Of Business Owners Are Making…” simply download directly from our site www.davisbusinessconsultants.com