Is your business making the most of its marketing opportunity? header image of a puzzle piece used

Is your business making the most of its marketing opportunity?

Most businesses realise they need some form of marketing to build awareness around their business, brand, products, and services but just having a marketing function isn’t enough to maximise their marketing opportunity. Many are held back due to a lack of understanding around where marketing should sit within their organisation and because they don’t have a basic plan in place to ensure their marketing activities are helping to achieve wider business objectives.

Top 5 common mistakes:

1. Marketing is viewed as a poor relation to sales

As a marketer nothing is more frustrating than the assumption that marketing is there to ‘serve’ the needs of the sales team. By taking this view your business is in danger of creating an additional, overly expensive, sales support admin function. On the contrary, marketing should be ahead of the curve, pulling your sales function forward and proactively guiding the approach of the sales team. Marketing should be harnessing and developing the thought process of the sales team in terms of messages and narrative around your business, brand, products, and services, ensuring consistency of approach across the sales function and creating a stronger company culture.

2. Marketing is not viewed as a cross-departmental function

Too many businesses allow marketing to operate in silo rather than as a fundamental part of their overall business. In manufacturing organisations, for example, it is critical to ensure there is a connection between the production and marketing departments. Marketers can’t operate in isolation; we need to understand what is happening behind that factory wall in order for us to maximise our impact on sales. If a particular product mix needs to be hit to ensure profitability, marketing can influence that directly through their digital campaigns and promotional activity.  If production is experiencing an issue in manufacturing a specific product, marketing needs to know so that we can put our feet on the brakes and slow down the promotion around that range. A disconnect in communication and understanding can lead to customer service issues further down the line, which can be costly for any business.

Marketing should be a department that is hungry for information on how the business is performing overall, as well as how individual products and services are performing. It is important that we spend as much time studying the inputs as well as generating the outputs.

3. Marketing is viewed as a set of individual tasks or outputs only

A senior executive once told me that it only takes him 20 minutes to organise a trade show – he just calls his stand designer, gives him a list of products to be displayed, provides a logo and hey presto, job done!

What about assessing the supplier market to ensure the trade show guy is the absolute best available and that he offers great value for money without compromising on innovative design? How is the senior executive going to get people to visit his stand? What is the pre-show marketing strategy? What compelling things does he have to wow his audience with? Why should they bother to visit his booth instead of the competitor next door? And if he does successfully manage to entice visitors, what kind of experience does he want to offer them? How does he want them to move through his product or service display? What story is he trying to build and is he communicating this early enough? How is he going to win over his competitors who are only 3 meters away?

These considerations can really make a difference between a successful show and an average one. And let’s not forget, once the doors close and the stand is packed away, the hard work shouldn’t stop there. How does he measure whether his show was a success? What was the return on his investment? What are his key factors for success?

Trade fairs might not be happening right now but with the return of events on the horizon, now is the time to plan how we can make the biggest impact once things get going again.

4. You need a huge marketing budget to succeed.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need a huge marketing budget to succeed, you just need to know where best to direct your spend. Monitoring the ROI and other key metrics for each of your campaign activities will allow you to identify which ones are giving the best return so that you can focus the spend more heavily in those areas that deliver the best results, allowing you to work your resources more efficiently. It is also important that you have the right metrics in place. Where social is concerned for example, it is easy to look at follower numbers, but what is really important are the interactions with your posts. If people aren’t interacting this tells you that your content isn’t hitting the spot and that they aren’t really engaging with your brand. Marketing is an ongoing process. There is no beginning and no end point. It is simply a process of evolution, measurement, and adjustment.

5. You don’t have a marketing plan

It might seem fundamental but so many businesses wade into marketing without having a real plan in place to ensure the marketing function has a direct impact on delivery of the overall business objectives. Without that plan how can you measure the success of your team, the return on your spend, and its impact on the bottom line? Don’t be that business. Make sure you have a plan in place. Even a simple one is better than none.

Should these issues resonate with you and your business, then do give us a call. We would be delighted to talk with you.

To find out more about how we can help you, please contact us: 07843 821229