When Marketing Makes You Nervous

You know your business needs marketing but you don’t know where to advertise or how much is the right amount to spend. That’s when you are most vulnerable and that’s why cold calling has continued to work all these years. Perfect timing when the rep calls and says ‘we have a special going at a 20% discount’ we reply ‘Wow, that’s great! I’ll take it.’ and then we tend to tick off our marketing job DONE! However, next month… same feeling, same sales, same place, but no idea of past advertising ROI (return on investment).

So where does that leave you the next time you need to make a marketing decision? What position does it have you in next year when the same event comes around and you still don’t know if attending or sponsoring last year was a success? Many business owners struggle to link their marketing expenditure to actually form part of a marketing strategy as a whole.

Hopefully these marketing tips can help ease the nerves a bit:

1. Marketing needs to be target based.

When I say target based marketing, ask yourself ‘will the person that needs my product or service see or hear or read this?’ ‘will they care to listen to what I am saying to them?’ Target the playground of your perfect customer. What is important to you won’t necessarily be important to everyone. For example, you would launch a new alcoholic drink at a restaurant or bottle store, not a school fete.

2. Strategy driven.

Strategy would require knowing specifically what you hope to achieve through the advert, launch or flyer. Start with why you want to market in the first place. Do you want people calling in, emailing or coming in to your store? Are you trying to increase your average spend, up-sell or cross sell for an in-store promotion?

3. Did it work?

What were your objectives and what will your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) be? After each marketing activity, you need to be able to answer these questions or you’re definitely shooting in the dark. Can you afford that?

4. Be clever.

Most business owners I consult with don’t see the importance of communicating price out in the open. They would take a full-page advert and it would consist of their mission, goals, values, business hours, premises, products/services and on and on. What in that advert is there about the customer? What is in it for them?

5. Still unsure?

Consult with a marketing professional to help you put a plan together for 6 months ahead, then you will start to bring your objectives into play. With the right amount of advice and planning, you should start getting to know what works for your business and then, hopefully you will have nothing to be nervous about.

Get yourself going quickly with these marketing tips:

Print out a calendar

What’s happening in the coming months that can be taken advantage of? Meat markets can leverage off Heritage Day/Braai day or punt ordering early for
Christmas time, nevertheless, so can an events company where you can take a Braai Day event over for a company that doesn’t have time or hands to do something and the same applies for their year-end events.

When you set out a calendar at least 6 months ahead, you can plan these things accordingly and not always be caught in the last minute.

Attack your brand

Use one graphic designer so you speak one language. If you book and advert online or in print and it comes with free artwork, rather still use your own graphic designer that already knows your corporate identity and what your advertising objectives are. The incorrect artwork and message can waste your money as fast as words could fly. Trying to save a buck like this could very well be cutting off your nose to spite your own face.

Choose one Social Media platform

This will be the personality of your brand. Have at least one social media platform (the one you’d find most of your clients on) and run it well. Your calendar will help with this. Be at least 2 months ahead of schedule with this. This will include your copywriting, artwork and linking the same message up with other online platforms you have i.e. A website and email banners or promotions.


Anchor your marketing portfolio here. Websites are the new ‘sounding board’ for target audiences when deciding to use you or lose you. Here they should see any community initiatives, staff on board, upcoming events and achievements or affiliations etc. Think of your website as how the public will relate to your company.

Did these marketing tips help you? Let us know in the comments section.

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