When I meet someone while networking, one of the first questions I am frequently asked is, “how should I market my business?” My response to that question is always a question of my own: “What are you trying to accomplish in your organization?”
I don’t ask that question to be cute or snarky. I ask it because it is a vital question when you’re trying to determine how you should promote your business.
Many believe that the goal of marketing your business is to “sell more of Product A” or “Service B.” While it is true that you want to sell more of your products and services, when determining how to market your business, the first thing you need to figure out is what you are trying to accomplish as an organization.
For example, let’s say that you want to increase sales over the previous year by 15%. That is your organizational goal for the upcoming year. To accomplish this goal, you determine that you need to grow your share of the market in a certain demographic AND expand your reach into a new area of the city.
Thus, your marketing efforts should be geared towards meeting those marketing goals, which in turn will help you meet your organizational goals.
So, knowing what you want your organization to accomplish is an essential part of determining HOW you should promote it.
Let’s take a deeper look as to why your organizational and marketing strategies must be aligned.
GIVE STRUCTURE TO YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS
As I outlined above, when you identify what you want to accomplish as an organization, setting your marketing goals becoming much easier.
Using the example above, I would know:
- Who I would need to target
- Where they live
- Which product I should focus on selling.
This type of structure would not be available if I had not identified my organizational goals and aligned my marketing goals with them.
GENERATE THE CORRECT TYPE OF LEADS
The wrong type of leads are almost as bad as no leads. If your marketing goals are not aligned with your organizational goals, you run the risk of generating the wrong type of leads.
Many times over my career, I have worked on websites and marketing plans in which a client listed all of the services they wanted mentioned in their marketing. In reality, only one or two of the services delivered the type of profit margin they needed to grow their business.
This bit of miscommunication led us to believe we were sending our clients quality leads, only for them to become frustrated that they were not the leads they were looking for. Their business suffered in kind.
SELL YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT/SERVICE
The previous point leads directly into this point. But first let me clarify that “most important” does not automatically equal “most expensive” or even the one with the largest profit margin.
Most important means the product(s)/service(s) that are most likely to contribute to your marketing goals and in turn your organizational goals.
Referring back to the example above, determine which product(s)/service(s) would reach more of your target demographic or result in an expansion of your reach throughout the city.
Those service(s)/product(s) will then become your most important service and product, so you must focus your efforts on selling more. Note: If the price or profit margin is too low, then you may need to reconsider your pricing.
KEEP YOUR TEAM ON THE SAME PAGE
An important step in developing your organizational and marketing goals is to share them with your team. Even if you have a small team, you want everyone on the same page when it comes to who you are targeting, which product(s)/service(s) are being promoted, and what you are trying to accomplish.
Having your goals aligned makes it easier for people to communicate and remain on the same page.
BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE
What is an unexpected result of all this? Better overall customer service.
Whether you have detailed it or not, your customers go on a journey from the time they discover you to the time they make a purchase. If your goals are aligned, then your messaging throughout the entire journey your customers take is consistent and easy to follow. Your customers know exactly who you are and how you can help.
And because your team is on the same page, they are better equipped to help your customer through closing the sale. This results in a wonderful experience for your customers, one that can mean repeat business from them as well as word-of-mouth recommendations.
Determining how you should promote your business can be daunting, especially if you are unsure of how you should start. But like I do when someone asks me how they should market your business, ask yourself “What do I want to accomplish with my organization?” and go from there.