Types of Marketing Activity
Exploring the best ways your potential customers can find you
Even the best product or service doesn’t sell itself. Every business needs to do some sales and marketing activity, so you need to understand how and where your customers buy your product or service so that you can find the best way of getting them to hear about you. Picking the right channel to reach your customers is crucial and with so many to choose from you need to think about the advantages, disadvantages and practicalities of each one. Here we will look at the main types of communication channels and how you can use them to best effect.
It is important to ensure that your brand identity and logo encompass and communicate your business values to your customers. Your brand will create your business reputation and can also make your business stand out from the competition, so it is important that you get it right from the very start. You should budget for brand development and speak to a variety of advertising agencies to find the right one for you.
Developing relationships with other businesses and individuals is of paramount importance to your business. You may wish to explore being a member of a business networking group such as the Breakfast Clubs or join a membership organisation like the Chamber of Commerce or The Institute of Directors. Investigate other opportunities to meet new business contacts such as attending conference, seminar and speed buzzing events relevant to your target market. Jersey Business organises a series of networking events throughout the year. To be kept up-to-date, we suggest you register your details on our mailing list.
You can find a comprehensive calendar of business events in Jersey on our events page.
Direct marketing is about making direct contact with existing and potential customers enabling you to give a personalised message to particular customer groups. Direct marketing can be cost effective and extremely powerful at generating sales, so it is ideal for small businesses.
Direct marketing uses a variety of different methods. Direct mail, mailshots and leafleting have traditionally been used by companies but you should also think about using telephone marketing, email and texting which offer opportunities to reach your target market in a different way. Whichever method you use it is important to ensure that you keep your message clear and concise for maximum effect.
Public relations (PR) is the relationship your business has with the public and is developed by working with the press and other media outlets to create positive awareness of your business. Favourable media coverage, such as reports, reviews and articles, is very valuable because PR is often seen as being more credible that advertising. To make the most of your PR campaign your business needs to be ready for the extra interest and sales good publicity will bring but you should also have a mechanism for handling publicity or feedback that is not so favourable.
All businesses can benefit from having an accessible and easy to use web presence. For this to be most effective you need to decide what you want your website to deliver for your business, for example, you might want to build brand awareness, sell directly to customers or improve customer support. Once you have decided what you need your website to achieve you will be able to develop the structure and content for it. You will probably need to work with a web development company to create the structure of your site and possibly a marketing/design agency to help with the content.
Social media, both for advertising and for engagement with your customers, has become a very important communications tool for businesses. Social media platforms you may wish to consider using include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and Trip Advisor. Although it is relatively easy to set up a social media presence it can be tricky to manage as all these platforms needs to be regularly refreshed with new and interesting content. You will also need to consider how you will separate personal and business social media activity particularly if you or your employees are already active on these platforms.
Other useful sources of information.