If your business is without a marketer, or you’re trying to decide if you need one, it’s good to do an assessment on the current state of marketing in your business. You’re likely doing quite a bit with social media and posting on your own. These questions will help you understand if it’s enough or if it’s time to bring someone on.
How Well Are You Doing? 12 Questions to Take the Pulse of Your Marketing
These questions will help you gauge your strong points and what you need to pay more attention to:
1. Is my business telling a story or just talking about itself?
There is a subtle difference between boring your audience by everything being about you, and telling a story that customers will want to be a part of. To avoid sounding like a snore, tell your story as it matters to your customers. Make it about them and show them how you can transform them into a hero.
2. What does your business do better than anyone else?
It’s your unique value proposition but if you can’t answer it, you’re going to have problems. How are you helping to solve the need of your ideal customer?
3. Who is your ideal customer and are you serving them right now?
This is the biggest struggle for most businesses. If you don’t know who you can help, you can’t personalize your message. Don’t think you can help everyone. While that may be the case, there is someone who needs you so badly, they are willing to pay well for it. If you can become the best, and known for success in your niche, when people need your service, they will think of you first.
4. Are You Using Numbers?
Data helps in every aspect of marketing from telling your story to understanding who is most likely to buy when. You can save yourself a lot of time if you can begin to use and analyze data. Begin with your website and Google Analytics, it’s free and there are numerous articles and videos that can help you get started.
5. Are you tracking promos?
Whether it’s direct mail you’re using or a discount email/mobile code do you have some way to track what people are using and what is simply not working for your audience? Direct mail isn’t dead and email/mobile discounts can be effective but you need to find out what works for your (intended) customers.
6. Do use inauthentic language?
Some people would argue even using the word “inauthentic” is inauthentic. Speak in your tribe’s tongue. Don’t use industry jargon, unless that’s the only way your ideal customer feels comfortable. Today’s most effective marketing is non-marketing. If it looks like marketing, people don’t like it.
7. Are you making it easy to refer people?
Ask for the referral. People will produce for you.
8. Are you set up for word-of-mouth marketing?
Not only should you ask for people to refer others to you, make sure they understand how much you value their reviews of you as well. Remind them how important they are to your business. If you have a brick and mortar location, post reminders with QR codes that take them quickly to referral sites. A lot of people will do it while they’re still at your business, especially if you have the type of place where they’re lingering, like a coffee shop or ice cream parlor.
9. Are you keeping it fresh, lit, live, etc.?
Using the language of your people is important but so is your demographic. If you’re targeting Baby Boomers keep your posts slang appropriate. Don’t use all the coolest words just because other brands are using them. Along the same line, if you’re targeting teens and young 20s, don’t use words like “jiffy” unless you’re referring to peanut butter.
10. Do you post too much or too little?
Too much and people tune out. Too little and they can’t remember you. Posting with no consistency doesn’t build patterns. Post at least 1-2 times a day; more if your audience responds. You know you’ve gone too far when people start unfollowing or “unliking” you.
11. Are you blogging?
I know most businesses hate this suggestion but there’s no easier way to build a brand AND make search engines love you. Just make sure you’re creating content your audience needs and giving it to them in a medium they enjoy. It doesn’t take hours to produce and you don’t have to post every day; just be consistent about when you do.
12. Are you doing something with your fans?
If you’re posting like a rock star and people are enjoying your content, continue to produce more, but make sure you’re also asking them to do something. Give them a call to action. Invite them to shop your online catalog. Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. When you want to grow your relationship with someone, you invite them to do things. Your business audience is no different.
A Final Word About Hiring Marketing Help
Social media and blogging give you the opportunity to reach an audience easily. If you add in targeted ads on Facebook and analyze the data to decide if what you are doing is effective, you could stretch your marketing dollars and do more with less time and money invested. Give up the idea of traditional (obvious) marketing and start connecting.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.