insightfulmarketing

Simple, effective and insightful small business marketing

Seasonal Marketing March 15, 2012

First quarter is coming to an end…where do you stand with your marketing plan and accomplishing your annual goals?  For many businesses, there is a seasonal upswing in the summer months.  Whether you own a landscaping, childcare, vacation rental or other business that see sales increase during the warmer months, then you need to start thinking about what your marketing tactics look like now.  It’s not too late! What is the message you want to convey to new and returning customers? How do you plan on reaching them? Do you have longer lead advertising, like print, set?

Marketing Plan

One of the best things to do is create a reverse timeline. Working backwards from what you considered to be the kick-off of your busy season, will help you get printed materials in full gear with plenty of time to spare. In addition, it gives your business the opportunity to hone its messages, regardless of the medium you choose to deliver them with.

During your non-peak season, you will also want to keep your brand in front of your target customer. At this point your business can save money by having fewer ads and less promotional activity.  However, you should continue to promote brand recognition so that they will draw instant attention to your seasonal marketing plan once it launches. A brand, even one with a seasonal business should not disappear altogether as the ramp up period then becomes more arduous as businesses attempt to re-connect with their customer base.

The critical aspect of your overall business plan is to have your annual marketing plan in place well in advance of your peak season(s) and plan your marketing budget accordingly so you can manage cash flow effectively.  By managing marketing expenses throughout the year, you’ll have tactics in place for the peak times as well as non-peak times when you want your brand to stay in the minds of the consumer, thus creating a very effective overall strategy.

 

Are you marketing and selling your small business? February 2, 2012

Do you believe you have a great product or service, but you’re having trouble getting your small business to the next level? Whether it’s dog grooming, window washing, resume creation or coffee shop, marketing makes a difference….and even if you have a great service or product…I don’t think your business if going to sell itself.  So let’s take a look at your sales and marketing planand see where there’s opportunity for improvement.

Customers are Ignoring You

Web Strategy

Ask yourself these questions:

  • If you have a website, how great is your landing page? How well does it represent who you are and what you can do? And if you don’t…WHY NOT?
  • If you have customers that make appointments, do you offer on-line appointment setting?
  • How strong is your call to action
  • Do you have customer testimonials…they are an excellent way for someone else to sell your business and give it credibility.
  • Are you using social media to connect and have conversations or do you provide valuable information to customers or potential customers via the Internet?

Product or Service Strategy

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How well do you know your target market? Who exactly is your customer?
  • Are you putting yourself in your customer’s shoes? Are you looking at your business offerings and service from their prospective?
  • How well do you know your competition?  How do they do things? Are they outselling you or offering something your customer’s might benefit from?
  • Would it be appropriate to cross-sell?
  • What are your business objectives for the year?

In short, marketing and selling your business has many components with both web based and traditional tactics to think about, but they can provide you with the tools to bring your business to the next level and meet or exceed your goals.  Start thinking about them today and see where you go….