Our marketing strategy to date has been slow, but in no way laborious!
Your marketing strategy is more important than making money. Without it, you won’t make any! The reason for this is we began trading with a small client base of referrals from one another. This proved invaluable. We didn’t need not worry about a promotional drive so early on. Which would have been difficult because of financial obstacles (we couldn’t afford it in other words!). This positive word of mouth generated us enough of an income to continue trading and earn a living. While allowing us to fund a promotional drive at a later date.
We had business cards made. Plus various other items of smaller promotional and marketing aids like postcards and inexpensive flyers. So we could hand out at any given opportunity to make people aware that we existed. Another method we employed was to literally ask in every shop in town. Seeing if we could put an advert in their window. Free and would be noticed (hopefully!) by a huge number of passers by. They may or may not check out the site. More importantly potentially passing on our details to an interested party. Our initial 3 months of trading were used as an establishment period. Where we had to make financial sacrifices in order to secure projects.
At both a loss……but more importantly a gain!
How did our early marketing strategy work then? The loss was we had to undercut the competition. The gains were significant. They were our portfolio and foot in the door. We took on 5 diverse projects, giving the customer far more for their money than they’d get elsewhere. Purely to ‘show off’ if you like to make potential customers take note. Hoping they’d think ‘these guys are good’! It was paramount that the projects were diverse, so we could show off. Using various techniques, design skills and look on each. Obviously, to take on 5 jobs based on the same profession would have had detrimental effects on our business. As we would struggle initially to achieve different looks but the same functionality. Now we have no issues in working on projects which are similar to work we have already done.
These clients are often urged to pick and choose elements they like from previous work. While introducing newer elements and functionality. To keep our customer’s websites as up to date as possible.
As we cumulated our monies, we could now look at more localised advertising options.
Paper editorials, paper ads and online banner ads. We have been approached by third party advertising groups. After one painful incident where we were unwittingly roped into advertising in a ‘nationwide publication’. For what we now consider as an expensive, almost extortionate mistake. Which we were quick to learn from. We don’t want to slander these set-ups. To us, they appeared to be an expensive waste of time. These people aren’t interested in advertising you or your services. They just want you to sign up for a long term contract where they can get money for nothing. We would advise to research in depth anyone that approaches you offering advertising services. Almost interrogate them and thoroughly breakdown the costs.
Our best advice, stick to local papers initially. You know what you’ll get for your money, and you have an idea of the numbers receiving that particular paper. Everything mentioned so far is techniques we used to get us and our business noticed. We were always aware that only ‘X’ many people would be able to know about us locally. Identifying how best to implement your marketing strategy is so important.
It’s time to pro-actively make people further afield know about us.
The way to do this: the internet. Social networking is key to the success of any new or existing business. Technology and methods continually change. Our focus then changed to electronic advertising. To do this, we set up accounts on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter initially. We could approach and be approached by anyone who would be interested in our services. We could then redirect this ‘socially networked’ traffic to our sites. By investigating our statistics on Google Analytics, we could see who is visiting us, Not only that but where they were from (plus a multitude of other information on their visit).
We also specialise in SEO (search engine optimisation). This is the fundamental method used to rank your site within search engines. By continually updating the site, generating traffic, interest and enquiries. Promoting our business and services by means of blogging. If you blog about everything you do as a company, this constant activity is what your rank in search engines thrive on. If you don’t tell the world what you’re up to, then who would be interested?! As we tell all our customers, what’s the use of a website if no one knows about it? Exploit and use it in every way possible. Whether you promote yourself in person to people, publicise yourself every way you can and take advantage of blogging.
These 3 fundamental marketing strategy steps, if taken correctly will make or break your business.
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a service we offer. It has to be done right. To do it correctly it takes time. Time our clients don’t have themselves. SEO is a necessary evil, but can be a joy. You are writing about your business. You should be passionate and excited and want to tell the world what you’re up to. Regardless of people’s interest! As long as you are active in the eyes of the search engine, you will make yourself noticed. If you have the time, search engine optimisation can be done by any IT competent individual. It is, however (as mentioned) very time consuming.
That is why for a monthly fee, we will take care of your social networking, blogging, keyword inclusion and general optimisation. We offer 3 packages. Each a more intense package than the previous which covers all aspects of optimisation. To find out what we can offer your business, please get in touch. If you come to The DM Lab, you will receive a professional service. From the initial design of your website to making it live. Maintaining the site and aftersales services, primarily search engine optimisation.
All this forms your marketing strategy.
We would also suggest becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. We are a fully fledged member of the Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce. The benefits and opportunities are staggering, we won’t go into detail, but it’s definitely worthwhile looking into and investing in. The only point to bear in mind is that becoming a member doesn’t mean everything is handed to you on a plate; you do have to take a pro active role, like attending events and networking. A good analogy is it’s like joining the gym, just because you’re a member, doesn’t mean it going to work itself! Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to arrange a meeting and find out more. It’s only around a tenner a month – incredible value!
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