Many entrepreneurs who are starting out often overlook the importance of marketing and solely rely on the strength and popularity of their product or services.
The Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at First National Bank, Delali Dzidzienyo, explained that while this may be true especially for some businesses which rely only on word of mouth as a marketing tool, entrepreneurs that are serious about growing their businesses need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a marketing strategy to help them attract more customers and increase sales.
“Often, when entrepreneurs market their businesses they assume that its only about putting their brands on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram without necessarily having a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan in place,” adds Delali as he unpacks tips for developing a business marketing strategy:
- Marketing strategy – As part of your marketing strategy, develop a marketing plan that aligns to your business objectives. For example, if your plan includes a social media plan or campaign – depending on the depth and frequency of your planned activities – you can then decide to appoint a social media manager or manage the activities yourself in alignment with the business’ broader marketing activities. It’s more than just randomly posting on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram as and when you deem relevant.
- Competitive advantage – It’s important to know and understand your competitors, to determine your unique selling point and what you can deliver to satisfy your customer’s needs. For example, when running a bakery you could offer your customers some giveaways such as muffins when buying a particular number of loaves; or even offering a competitive discount on the price of two or more loaves.
- Free online marketing tools – There are many online tools that SMEs can use to learn more and/or market their businesses, often at no cost. The First National Bank Business toolkit gives our business customers access to a range of videos, articles, tools and templates to enable your business respond to current environments. The toolkit covers various topics to help you start, run and grow your business, including a section on marketing and sales, Delali highlighted.
- Return on investments – In addition to marketing activities that will be implemented, it is important to use the right tools to accurately measure and determine return on investment. This will help the business owners to determine whether their marketing activities have helped to deliver on their strategy.
“Lastly, the importance of fully understanding your competitors, customers, market and landscape in which you operate and matching this with an adequate marketing plan that will help the business reach its objectives cannot not be overemphasised,” concludes Delali.