Joanne Wilson, Managing Director at Fill the Gap Marketing explains…
People sometimes say, “I’ve done some marketing but it didn’t work.” Have you heard anyone say this? Have you said it?
What it is helpful to understand is that advertising shouldn’t be labelled as marketing and social media shouldn’t be labelled as marketing. Marketing is so much more than that.
Marketing helps you discover where your customers are, what they want and why they want it. It helps you determine the best way to communicate to your target market and what channels will get you the best return on your marketing investment. This is strategic marketing, or what I call, marketing thinking.
Once your marketing thinking has been done, you can then do some marketing communicating, whether that be by using Facebook, advertising in a local magazine, or sending out email campaigns for example. A marketing plan helps you determine this.
Here are some hints and tips to help you create your own marketing plan:
- Implement a feedback form in your business. Always ask your customers for feedback.
- Carry out a customer survey. Talk to your existing customers to find out as much as possible about why they buy from you.
- Research your competitors. What are they doing well or doing badly? Learn from them.
- Scan your market. Is it showing signs of growth or decline? Is the government, the environment or the economy going to impact your business?
- Set measurable objectives. Know your goals. Be realistic but aim high.
- Create an action plan. Target the right people with the right message so you can achieve your goals.
- Assign responsibilities and timescales.
By doing your marketing planning before you start communicating, you’re guaranteed to see a better return on your marketing.
Closing the Skills Gap
After the table networking and a short break for additional networking club members welcomed Rachel, Jane and Bob from Newark Family of Schools, who attended to promote Together for Newark.
The trio highlighted the benefits of businesses building relationships with schools to help bridge the skills gap and raise awareness of the range of careers that are available locally to the workforce of the future.
With many employers reporting that young people are leaving school without being ‘work ready’ with limited social skills and a lack of knowledge of appropriate business behaviour, Together for Newark is trying to bring both sides of the table together to ‘close the gap’.
Jane and Bob invited businesses to offer support to schools by delivering special assemblies and work experience or in-school projects. In return businesses will be able to advertise on the Together for Newark website.
Business interested in taking part should visit www.togetherfornewark.co.uk