What is marketing - and how it can benefit your business

Last post: Nov 8, 2021

At Choice Business Loans we want to see our clients thrive, which is why we take the time and care to provide them with the right advice when it comes to loan solutions available to them. Beyond smart finances, running a successful SME often includes lots of multitasking and balancing of priorities. One such priority that can be difficult to get to grips with but is hugely important, is marketing. Nicole Martin of Pinpoint Marketing shared with us her top tips on getting it right - and some thoughts on when it may be time to outsource.

The basics of marketing

Marketing is the art of finding out what customers need or what problem they need solving, and then supplying this to them. Put simply, it is all about supply and demand. 

Have you heard of the 4 Ps of marketing? This stands for your product, price, place and promotion. These are your foundations. There is no magic wand or secret formula to marketing, but it is about knowing your why and remembering that marketing your business and seeing results is a marathon, not a sprint. 

3 top marketing tips

Tip 1: Why do it and how?  

Once you know who you want to talk to, what you want to say and what action you want the customer to take, you can decide which channels are going to be the most suitable and relevant to your business and market. Do what works for you and your business specifically, don't do any form of marketing just because. Marketing isn't a tick box exercise or something to be done in isolation to the rest of your business.

Tip 2: Consistency is key  

Marketing is all about consistency and continuity. It is about having a presence and having your name out there but on a consistent and regular basis. If you are stuck for time or content variety in the early days, it is ok to repurpose content or to share it across multiple channels. For example write a blog then take sections of this for newsletter content linking it back to the site, and also use it for monthly networking minutes, for social media posts and so on. 

Tip 3: Measuring and following up  

Small businesses do not have time and money to waste, so our marketing needs to have an ROI. To know this ROI, our marketing needs to be measured. I speak to many business owners who carry out marketing activities but a fair few have no idea how well it is working or not and this often comes down to a lack of understanding of how to measure, what to measure or even why to measure it. Work out what you are doing, where the successes are coming from, know your numbers, evaluate and then change if need be. 

Why and when to outsource

Before you outsource, consider how much time you have to deliver your marketing and estimate how much time is needed to dedicate to marketing. Do you want to do your own marketing or outsource it? And do you have the skills needed? 

Marketing specific tasks you could outsource and seek help on could include social media posts, writing, planning and strategy, reporting, PR, website updates, content and more. Always remember that whatever you outsource and to whom, always remain authentic and have overall control.