Building a Marketing Foundation

Building a Marketing Foundation

A lot of organizations do not know how to allocate their time and resources. Every new organization faces two big challenges. The first challenge is the mountain of things to do. The second is that there is not enough time or resources to get them all done. The organizations that can prioritize their mountain of things to do and get them done efficiently will be on a path to success. This approach to learn and repeat the best marketing efforts and deploy them over time is the crux of data-driven marketing.

Building a Marketing Foundation

One of the reasons that so many companies struggle early is because they do not put in a marketing foundation. This foundation tells the organization which marketing efforts are working–and why. The marketing efforts that do not work are expensive. Unfortunately, when an organization does not have a lot of resources, these efforts can be crippling.

Learn by Doing Marketing

Admittedly, sometimes these advertising efforts can work. However, if there is not a marketing foundation in place, it’s impossible to know exactly how to do it again. The most-effective marketing strategies improve on previous marketing strategies. The smart organizations build a system that allows them to test different marketing strategies. Once they have figured out what has worked, they repeat these efforts to add more customers and expand their business.

Marketing Improvement

There are many ways to build a system of continuous marketing improvement. However, the most effective approach starts by understanding how the organization is valued by its stakeholders. Once they understand that, there are a lot of approaches to find the best way to broadcast that message. The organizations that prioritize and dial-in the marketing efficiently are on a path to success.

Data-Driven Marketing

If your organization wants to efficiently grow its customers, creating the foundation for a data-driven marketing ecosystem is the best avenue to pursue. If you want to understand how best to put this foundation in place, let’s talk about the most-effective techniques for organization growth.

Marketing Consultants

Marketing Consultants

There are a number of different ways to find a marketing consultant. Finding the right one can be harder. Ensuring that they are successful can be very difficult. While there are countless capable marketing advisers available to organizations, often times these marketing consultants are not set up to be successful for the organization.

Hiring a Marketing Consultant

Most organizations who are looking to increase their marketing efforts find consultants through their own networks or the freelancer networks. Invariably, there is often some sticker shock at the costs that these consultants charge. This leads to some reluctant negotiation, and then an expensive contract signed. They are often focused on a specific marketing task, like brand discovery or email marketing.

The Awkward “Discovery Phase”

After the ink dries on the contract, the consultant often asks the business owner “so–what do you guys do?” In the “discovery” phase, marketer are learning how to craft and deliver an effective message. The first marketing deliverable usually doesn’t go out for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, marketing is an inexact science and it the first deliverable is often horribly wrong. But, the good marketers will adjust their techniques and improve their message.

Fixing the “Bad Marketing”

Once the marketer has learned what messages won’t work, the contract is almost up. The organization has spent a lot and has not received any new customers. In short, the marketer is often just now learning how to effectively market–and they are taking everything that they learned with them as they leave.

A Different Approach

The “discovery phase” should be just that–discovery. It should not be expensive to the client. The “discovery phase” should also include the first few items sent on behalf of the client, to learn more about what will work. A good marketer will find what works for the business and should be driving a lot of new customers and new revenue.  When the marketer has proven that they can deliver is when the full cost of the marketing should be incorporated. Paying somebody to learn about your business only to go away does not help the organization in any meaningful way.

Marketing Consultant

If your organization is frustrated by your marketing options in the marketplace and want to expand your reach, let’s talk about the most-effective techniques for organization growth.

Small Business Marketing Principles

Small Business Marketing Principles

In the previous post (Small Business Marketing Plan), we began by answering a lingering question: “How do I build a marketing plan for my small business?” Now that you’ve built your marketing plan, let’s talk about small business marketing principles that build the foundation of this plan. Before we get into the specifics, we’re going to lay out a few principles to help you execute your marketing plan.

Small Business Marketing Principle 1: Work Backwards

Think about what your marketing is trying to do. Your marketing is persuading people to buy more of your product. Alternatively, your marketing is persuading people to buy your product at a higher-margin. You can do this by expanding your customer base or getting more out of your existing customer base. If your research tells you that you need more faces in your store, it’s best to start with an awareness campaign to expand your reach. If your research tells you that you already cannot keep track of all of your customers, loyalty campaigns may help you get more sales from your existing customers.

Small Business Marketing Principle 2: Now Work Back from Principle 1

If you’ve decided to invest in loyalty, you are hoping to have a more intimate relationship with your existing customers. This will provide high-value cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. It’s important to realize that loyalty campaigns follow the same adoption curve as any new product or offering. You will not have 10,000 members in your loyalty program on Day 1. More importantly, you will not have 10,000 members in your loyalty campaign if only 3 customers are aware of the new loyalty campaign. You are building a foundation for success. This foundation starts by having 1 customer aware…and then 2… and then 3. Which brings us to our next Principle.

Small Business Marketing Principle 3: It All Starts with 1

I wish I could tell you the secret to getting exponential marketing growth. Unfortunately, marketing requires a commitment and an investment to the customer. It requires a consistent message, patience, and perseverance. There really are not any shortcuts. It’s an uphill slog the whole way. The best marketers are adding new customers and getting more out of their existing customers all the time. They know that they moment they stop broadcasting their company’s unique approach and offerings is the moment that their competitors start to grab their market share, that they fought so hard to capture. Consistency is the only way.

Small Business Marketing Principle Summary

The most unwelcome guests at any entrepreneur’s dinner table are pride and impatience. Pride forces entrepreneurs to ignore the reality that their marketing is not landing. Impatience forces small business owners to try to accomplish too many tasks with one marketing offering. The most savvy entrepreneurs know that the right way to get 10,000 customers is to make one person aware of your product, and then to make two aware. Eventually, you’ll have 10,000 customers aware –many of whom will be very loyal.

If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.

Small Business Challenges: Conquering Digital Marketing

Small Business Challenges: Conquering Digital Marketing

According to Hiveage, the 6 Biggest Small Business Challenges are:

  1. Cash Flow Issues
  2. Tiredness
  3. Finding and Retaining Profitable Customers
  4. Motivating Employees
  5. Having Too Many Overheads
  6. Staying Current

We agree with that list. Fundamentally, all of these issues boil down to one central issue—there is not enough time in the day to do everything yourself at the quality you want it done. By providing digital marketing for small business, we take some of the burden as you scale the company.

Prioritizing Your Small Business Challenges:

The challenge with the 6 items listed above is that we are human beings and do not have 6 hands. We have to prioritize this list.

Cash is king. Every penny in the till is another potential reinvestment back to the company, and each potential reinvestment is another opportunity to take the business to the next level. After the cash starts to flow, it makes sense to work on the other 5 challenges. Unfortunately, none of those reinvestments are guaranteed to work. Welcome to the world of the small business owner.

Outsource your Small Business’s Digital Marketing:

We are small business ourselves, we live the pain of these challenges. We’ve created our offerings to solve these challenges. Our Search Marketing, Email Marketing, and Social Media offerings do not stifle the business. We use these tools drive leads to your website to grow the business. Our digital marketing services for small businesses are lean and directed, taking the business to the next level organically.

Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Email Marketing for your Small Business:

Our offerings are always on your small business’s message. We write our marketing copy in the voice of the client. Digital marketing for small businesses is what we do—and we do it effectively and efficiently.

Let us deliver your Digital Marketing for you:

If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.

Digital Marketing for the Bootstrapped Startup

Digital Marketing for the Bootstrapped Startup

Seattle is full of amazing ideas—many have come to fruition—others are still on the drawing board. Established gamechangers like Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks, REI, Eddie Bauer, Paccar are a source of civic pride—as they should be. Seattle is where gamechangers are built. But, it begs the question—whose idea will be next?

I Have a Full-Time Job, But I’m Also Bootstrapping a Startup

Many startups face the same reality. Their idea is very good, but it needs to be bootstrapped or developed to flush out the wrinkles. However, this development takes time and energy. Unfortunately, most of us also have a mortgage or rent due each month. We cannot simply our jobs. However, it’s been getting tough to sleep at night, because we aren’t kicking our idea forward very much. Your startup may or may not be a gamechanger, but it certainly has the potential.  The options to move the ball forward on this innovation are not very promising. You do not want to give up the safety of the paycheck and you do not want to beg a VC for funding. You certainly do not want to let the idea die, because somebody else is probably developing this idea as well.

Marketing by Saffron Key

The Saffron Key Marketing solution is a twist on the ideation model. Keep your job and develop your offering in your spare time. We’ll market your solution for you, for a very small fee. Our offerings include search, social media, and e-mail marketing. With our success in marketing and your commitment to the offering—your creation will grow.

You Keep Bootstrapping, We’ll Handle the Marketing and Social Media

What we have seen with our founders is that once the marketing is handled it allows them to concentrate on the offering itself. Once they have that concentration—magic happens. We commit to building awareness for your solution that communicates the value of your brand.

Now Is The Time

There have not been a lot of companies built to solve this problem so specifically. If your idea has been on the back-burner for a long time, it’s time to sharpen your pencil and get to work. If you would like to learn more about how Saffron Key can help grow your business, check out our Getting Started page and tell us about your company and its needs.