Exactly Where You Should be Spending Marketing & Branding Dollars
“What even is marketing?” -the author, at least three times a day
Welcome to day eight of Leeward Business Advisors’ 12 Days of Starting a Business. We’re going through all the aspects leading up to starting a business! Follow along here on Medium and watch our Twitter for updates!
Marketing is classically defined as
the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
This short sentence encompasses so much. Anything you do to promote your business is marketing. Ads on Facebook, sending out mailers, going to networking meetings, everything.
As a startup, it’s a challenge to do any marketing, let alone everything. You should pick a few aspects to focus on and own. These should be chosen with your ideal customer base in mind, otherwise your efforts won’t allow you to reach people who will even be interested.
There are so many kinds of marketing efforts you can invest in to reach new customers.
Social media is almost as complicated as marketing itself. There are so many channels, each with their own different uses and audiences. I did a giant post on this a while back and would recommend starting there.
Networking is a frequently used sales technique, but it ties in well with marketing too. Going to community networking events is a great way to get your business name out there to find potential customers or business partners. Local chambers and business alliances frequently host events like this.
The more you engage with these groups, the more likely they are to help you out with marketing and promotions as well!
An e-mail campaign is great when you have business news to promote! Unfortunately, e-mail campaigns can be very difficult to run all on your own. Mail Chimp and Constant Contact are great for the set up and design of the actual e-mail.
The more complicated aspect is trying to manage an e-mail list in an excel sheet. We recommend using a CRM program to manage all your business’ contacts.
Physical Mailer Campaign
Mailer campaigns are good for invites to events and occasionally specific promotions.
This is kind of like an e-mail campaign except harder. With a mailer campaign, you also need to design a physical card, get them printed, and mail them to contacts. These are usually far more time consuming and expensive.
Getting out in the community is a great way to get your business’ name recognized more widely- brand awareness is always great. It will also associate your business with positive work. Psychological association is very important- if people think positively about your business, they’ll be more likely to want to work with you!
Advertising can help you reach a lot of people all at once, but it can be very expensive and you will reach mostly people who aren’t in your ideal audience. Advertising can be beneficial from a brand awareness perspective, but likely won’t bring you much business.
Branding is incredibly important for a business! It makes the company. That’s how Apple is Apple and how Target is Target and even how Kim Kardashian is Kim Kardashian.
Branding starts with a name and a logo, but includes all communication regarding your business. It sums up the entire personality of a business. Buffer did a great post on ways to create a great personality for your brand.
Leeward does branding by participating in community events like chamber networking meetings, business seminars, and volunteering our time and services at local schools. We try to associate ourselves with all things STEM and Co-Lo in the Midwest. By volunteering at local elementary schools and hosting community-based events, we have positioned ourselves as reliable and down-to-earth.
Come back tomorrow to learn about technology!
About Leeward Business Advisors
Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.