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Developing Marketing Strategies for Your Business

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 14 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Developing Marketing Strategies For Your Business

One crucial part of running a successful business is to market yourself, your services and your wares well, as without marketing, no-one will be informed about what you have on offer or know where to find your business. There are a variety of marketing strategies you can use to do this and here we look at some of the main approaches you may wish to explore.

Put simply, marketing is all about informing people and keeping them informed and up-to-date about your business. Marketing is an important task and is something that you should undertake regularly and continually. It’s easy to spend plenty of time and money promoting and advertising your business in the early stages, when you’ve just set up and are new to the market, but unless you continue with this to some degree, you may lose out on business in the long run.

Having time and money set aside to tackle marketing on an ongoing basis is definitely a good idea. Depending on the size of your business, you may even be able to employ a specialist in a part- or full-time marketing role. But even if you’re doing the job yourself, on top of everything else, you can still make a good impact, as long as you’re prepared to work at it.

There are a wide variety of different marketing strategies that you can utilise, from traditional techniques to more modern approaches which make use of new technological advances. There’s no need to stick to one or the other though – the more you use, the better your results and sales are likely to be.

Working Out Your Objectives

Before you decide on what marketing strategies you’re going to use, you first need to work out and finalise your objectives.

In theory, you should have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve and what you need to do in order to make this happen. If you don’t, then you need to spend time thinking this through carefully – it may help, for example, to have a brainstorming session and write down any ideas and aims. For example, some aims may be:

  • To increase brand awareness or knowledge of new products or services you’re offering.
  • To work on generating new leads or sales.
  • To increase awareness of your expert credibility and teach more workshops or classes.

Whatever your particular marketing objectives, you need to keep them in mind and set targets to help you meet them. Each time you’ve achieved an objective, don’t forget to create a new one or two, so you’ve always got something to aim for.

Types of Marketing Strategies

Some of the different types of marketing strategies you may wish to explore include:

  • Investing in PR and targeting specific areas of media.
  • Using direct mail to target new customers.
  • Having a stand at trade shows and exhibitions, or visiting them and networking with other relevant businesses.
  • Exhibiting at consumer shows and events.
  • Increasing your presence at a local level, through more advertising.
  • Offering craft products or craft courses as prizes in local or national competitions or giveaways.
  • Using the Internet to develop new marketing approaches, such as through developing your own website or online store, or through banner adverts on other sites, regular articles posted on your website, writing craft blogs or through increasing your business presence on social networking sites.
  • Improving your market research, so you’re clearer about the types of products and services that your customers want.

The exact approaches and marketing strategies that you take will undoubtedly vary, but it’s definitely beneficial to try as many different ways as possible. There may be times, for example, when increasing your PR output works well, but other times when you’ll benefit more from exhibiting at key trade and consumer events. You’ve got to be prepared to be flexible and go with the market as it changes and the demands and needs of your customers alter. A craft business that is flexible and prepared to change is likely to have more chances of succeeding than one that stagnates.

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