Put simply, marketing is the process of effectively communicating your product or service to a customer. This could be through branding, advertising or product position. Marketing is not just the advertising and promotions that take place. How your business is perceived all comes down to marketing and positioning your service or product as you want it to be viewed. Conducting market research also forms a part of marketing; it’s very much a collective term.
With consumers constantly inundated with advertising and promotions, it’s a battle to deliver a powerful message that is well remembered. Is there an art to this or is it largely luck? Well.. you probably guessed it. Like everything in marketing, it’s about your creative thought-process behind that message. Whether it’s a TV jingle that you just can’t get out of your head or a slogan that you’d recognize a mile off, they’ve all been designed to evoke emotion.
Something no business can ignore is SEO or search engine optimization. SEO could be incorporated into a strong marketing strategy to support both online and offline marketing efforts. The challenge with SEO is that it’s constantly changing, sometimes those changes have a huge impact on the way you operate.
When you’ve reflected on your business performance from the previous year, done the math and looked for patterns in your finances, you’re ready to focus on new opportunities for growth. These are the simplest steps to successful strategic planning and we’re going to share a very easy tool that can help you with this area.
If you read our first installment of strategic planning for business owners, by now you have hopefully carried out the first step; reviewing and asking ‘why’ things happened the way they did. Now it’s time to focus on really understanding the operations of the company. This is the next logical step after we’ve taken the time to reflect on the root cause behind wins and losses.
When you’ve got all of your financial information in front of you, it can feel overwhelming. Especially when it comes to business finances. If you followed our last guide ‘Doing the Math’ you should now have a much clearer overview of your financial performance in the previous year and roughly why it performed this way. The next stage is to look for patterns within the numbers that can serve as clues for planning.