We are going to cut straight to the chase, having a marketing strategy is not only important but essential for your business. But before we explain why, let us ask you a few questions:
If you were visiting a new client at the other end of the country, would you just set off without planning your route?
If you went into a local hair salon or barbers, would you just ask “for a haircut”, or would you give direction as to how you wanted your hair to look?
The same questions can be applied to your business’ marketing. Would you post over social media or send out an email campaign without any thought behind it? What do you want to say? Who do you want to tell? Why do you want to tell your audience about your business?
You could be carrying out those marketing activities because you want to be active in the construction or interiors marketplaces and for your audience to notice your business. But will you get noticed by the right people and for the right reasons?
So for example, are you engaging with your relevant target audience over social media channels? Does your email database have the right contacts in, or could it be an old database that has been in your business for years? Do you have their permission to contact them?
The construction sector certainly has its challenges at the moment and it’s trying to balance short term issues, for example, material shortages, with long term planning and building your business’ reputation and awareness within the sector.
Why is it important to have a strategy for your marketing?
Creating a marketing strategy for your business ensures you’re targeting the right people, with the right message, at the right time.
Marketing results don’t just happen by chance.
It has been known for business owners to have the opinion that they don’t get any return from investing money into a strategy, and would rather spend on marketing activities such as social media or advertising activities such as Google Ads. Generally, it’s the need for ‘instant’ results.
Yes, social media and Google Ads certainly have their place in a business’s marketing campaign, but they need direction and they need goals if they are to work for a business.
If you are looking to grow your business within the buildings or interiors sectors, a marketing strategy is your plan of action to the marketing activities you will do, to help achieve your business growth plans. A marketing strategy should include the following:
- What are your business goals?
- Do you have any specific objectives for the next 12 or 18 months, for example, launch a new product, enter a new market, increase awareness, or increase leads through your website?
- What does your ideal client look like? How do you reach them?
- Who are your competitors and why do your customers choose you?
What problem do you solve for your customers? Having a strategy and a plan in place gives you something to work from on a consistent basis, and holds you accountable as a business.
Consistency is crucial. For example, if you write a blog post or feature a case study showcasing your products or services every now and again; or post to your social media channels sporadically because it’s hard to find the time in between running a business (which we totally understand!), that isn’t effective marketing.
By writing a blog post every month; sending out an emailshot every month; posting and engaging consistently over your social media channels, you are putting your business in front of your audience on a regular basis.
These regular communications build trust in your business and ultimately means they are having more of an impact on your audience. This means they are more likely to think of your business when their need arises, and will then buy from you.
So for example, if you are a building product manufacturer looking to target architects or specifiers, results won’t happen overnight. You need regular activities educating and inspiring, and not selling, to communicate how your product or service can benefit the specifier and a project they’re working on. By having this regular flow of communications, you will build trust and credibility in your business.
Here are 3 reasons why you need a marketing strategy, and tips to help you with yours:
- It helps you to talk directly to your target audience: by having a strategy, you will understand your customers’ buying behaviour and then see where you fit in with them.
Everyone can talk about their products or services, but that’s not what your audience wants to hear. They want to hear all about how your products can help solve their problems. So specifiers want to know how your product or service can help the project that they’re working on. By setting this out in your strategy, they are more likely to buy from you.
- You are more likely to achieve your business goals: when there is no clear direction, we end up meandering along. And so will business’ results. By having a clear set of goals and direction, your chances of business success will be improved. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and generally, the more complicated a plan the more likely it is to fail.
Create a 12-month plan, what do you want to achieve by the end of it and what do you need to do to achieve it? Then split up the plan into actionable monthly milestones. This creates a reference point for your team, and whether they are senior or junior, everyone has their role and will want to contribute to it.
- It saves you money in the long run: when there is no plan in place it is tempting to spend money on adhoc activities such as an advert in a magazine or a boost in social media advertising. The “let’s give it a go and see what happens” approach doesn’t work and will often cost you more money in the long run.
Having a marketing strategy and a plan in place means you will stick to a schedule where your marketing investment is clearly laid out. And by sending out consistent communications it will build trust in your business, and ultimately will convert some of your audience into customers.
Go for it, now is your time to create a marketing strategy for your business!
We hope this article has helped convince you the benefits of setting a marketing strategy for your business. Now is a great time to start planning for 2022. The construction sector certainly has its challenges at the moment with materials shortages and skilled labour, but these conditions won’t last forever and by planning your marketing activities it will give your business the best chance to thrive in the coming years.
Sit down with the right people in your business and talk about how to create a strategy, then hold yourselves accountable for the results!
If you have any questions or would like help in creating your marketing plan, then give us a shout by emailing us or calling us on 01606 351 033