Island Savings

Marketing

A successful business has mastered the four P's of marketing—the right product, at the right price, in the right place with the optimum amount of promotion. Our business experts are here to help!

 

Create a marketing strategy

  • Describe your company's unique selling proposition (USP).
  • Define who your customers are—your target market.
  • Determine the benefits of your product or service in comparison to similar products or services offered by your competitors within the same trade area.
  • Describe how you will position your products or services—luxury? affordable? best bargain? for certain ethnicity?
  • Define your marketing methods. Will you advertise, use Internet marketing, direct marketing, or public relations?

EXPERT TIP

Review your marketing plan at least once each quarter, so that you can determine whether your on track, whether your efforts are paying off and what improvements you can make. That way, your marketing budget will be put to good use.

Plan your marketing budget

It takes money to make money. Setting funds aside for marketing is an essential part of running a business, and should be viewed as an investment in your company. Keeping up on your target market can be time consuming. It may be more cost effective for you to hire someone to research the changing needs of your customers and watch what your competition is doing, allowing you to concentrate on running the business. If you don't keep up with current trends and keep your prices competitive, you may find yourself losing customers.

Advertising and promotions

You need to decide how you will advertise and promote your product or service.

  • There are dozens of ways to inform potential customers about your business; you need to decide which is the most cost effective for you.
  • Whether it's a electronic mailer or a national television ad, the important thing to ask yourself is whether you will generate enough profit from this campaign to more than cover the costs.
  • Some forms of advertising are free (after an initial investment), like something as simple as a sign on the sidewalk in front of your business or on the side of your vehicle.
  • Advertising isn't the only way to reach your market. You can promote your business in other ways: sponsor charity events, hold a contest, speak on the radio or at seminars. You could also create an e-newsletter, which you can get your customers with email addresses to opt-in to receiving regularly from you—this will keep your business top of mind.

Consider outside help

There are a lot of agencies that specialize in advertising and promoting businesses. They have the expertise in this area, but they do not have the intimate knowledge of your business. If you do decide that outsourcing is right for your business, make sure that you find an agency that will meet all your needs.

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