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Baby Steps – 10 Simple Principles of Marketing

It’s very easy to get caught up in advertising deals, marketing ideas that are ‘guaranteed’ to work and campaigns that are thrown together because you need to do something…

My advice? Never rush into a marketing campaign (no matter how good the deal seems) and find a way to test your campaign before you spend lots of time or money.

Get the facts

Not always easy but important for any marketing you do. Understanding conversion rates is an essential part of being a good marketer. It shouldn’t take long and any professional company will have most of the information to hand – if they don’t that might be your first warning sign that this isn’t for you…

Key facts that you should know before you consider spending anything:

How many people are you going to reach?
(distribution figures, hit rates, footfall etc)

What kind of people are they?
(Age, gender, income, business or consumer, psychological profile, location)

What’s the situation?
(leisure, event, fun, learning, charity)

Has it worked before?
(Can you speak to other people who have used this medium, can you find out how many enquiries they’ve had – sometimes tricky and don’t take another company’s opinion as gospel, but can be useful to know)

Test it

From your fact finding you might actually decide right off that the medium isn’t for you. If you do think it might be worth a go, find a way of testing it first.

If you’re managing a campaign yourself then it’s relatively easy to test something. If it’s being produced through another company then you might need to get creative. Testing is about finding a way to minimise the risk. For instance:

Before spending lots of money on advertising, try getting the ad printed on some business cards and putting them in shop windows or taking to your next networking event. If the response isn’t great, you might need to try again.

Get feedback from customers or friends. Ask them if they understand your offer, if it grabs their attention etc.

Rather than getting a big run of leaflets or taking out a huge advert, buy the absolute minimum.

Track the results

There are some really easy ways to track where your enquiries are coming from; landing pages, campaign specific telephone numbers and email addresses, vouchers, offer codes or just ask customers direct. Remember to make sure you record every enquiry that comes in, not just this campaign – it’ll really help you improve the effectiveness of everything you do.

I suppose the big message here is avoid costly shortcuts and jumping into something without doing a little fact finding. We all know how easy it is to spend lots of money trying to get more business without any guaranteed results. Take a deep breath when something too-good-to-miss comes up and figure out how to make it work for you