There are many reasons why a new business venture is conceived, whether it the spark of an idea over dinner, wanting to run a franchise business, or seizing an opportunity to go it alone. The one thing most start-ups have in common is that person at the helm is an expert in their field. So, why do 60% of new businesses fail within the first three years?
You know you have a great offering, but the orders are not coming in and suppliers (as well as yourself) need paying. The pressure of running a business can be overwhelming at times, but all too often the fundamental reason for underwhelming sales is poor marketing.
You know you need to do marketing, but what should you do?
It is here that sole traders, SMEs and even much larger enterprises have a lot in common. Whilst budgets may differ wildly at each end of the spectrum, many take a somewhat speculative approach to marketing. If you could be transported to the time of the gold rush in the U.S. or Australia and could take one thing with you would you pack a pan, or invite a geophysicist? The same applies to
marketing. Over the years marketing has suffered from a reputation of its own making, using smoke and mirrors to justify eyewatering fees. However, the reality today is that marketing is more akin to science than alchemy.
The very best place to start is your own goldmine (any customer information or database you currently hold in relation to existing and prospective customers), you just need to be able to ‘mine’ it efficiently and effectively. In the first instance this means making sure the data held is correct, up-to-date and compliant (with data protection laws). However, even in the absence of such a database, which may be the case for
early-stage pre-revenue businesses running on investment income, it is possible for a data-driven marketing specialist to build the data needed to define, create, and fulfil a measurable return on investment led marketing campaign.
Understand who your best customers are and what your addressable audience is?
Whether your organisation is B2C or B2B, in any size or sector, the first question that a specialist will look to answer is – What is it that you are offering? The next will be - Who do you think your audience is? It is often this question that challenges pre-conceptions about who a business thinks or aspires its customers to be.
However, it is a surprisingly quick question to answer with complete objectivity, by analysing and profiling customer information you probably already have. Put simply, this is a process of profiling existing customers to understand more about them e.g., age, gender, household income, property valuation data, as well as financial, attitudinal, and behavioural insights. From there it is possible to find key common characteristics of your best customers and then draw from other (compliant) data assets to accurately pinpoint look-a-likes that will have the highest propensity to buy the product, or service, being offered. Moreover, you can even go further, to understand how these newly found potential customers can be reached e.g. X percent via direct marketing, Y percent through telemarketing and Z from email (see GrowthBox article 'Fish where the fish are' for more on this) and even the type of content they are most likely to be most likely to respond to.
Equipped with this newfound insight you can be confident in making an informed decision about how to best distribute marketing budget and resources, for the biggest return from a customer acquisition campaign.
With quality and affordability of data-driven services, there really is no reason for a business to fail because of poor marketing. In fact, it can be one of your greatest assets to help achieve your ambitions. For more help and advice, head to our advice pages here: Advice