Business Marketing: All You Need To Know…

Posted: 9th December 2015

Business Marketing: All You Need To Know…
presented by Marina Ibrahim from Bizz-Buzz Consulting

Blog by Nikki Ayton from Social Media Promotions

Marina stepped in to give an inspirational marketing talk at very short notice. After expressing our appreciation to her, she took to the floor and immediately engaged with the audience.

“So, let’s be practical, let’s get interactive… What is marketing?”

Marina got straight to the subject at hand and the audience participation began immediately. There were shout-outs from those present contributing to the seven main aspects of marketing –

*Product/Services (knowing and understanding your client)
*Positioning (Branding, Values, Understanding) *Pricing
*Place *Promotion & *Publicity (incl. PR, Networking, Social Media, etc)
*People and *Plan

She was extremely enthusiastic about this and agreed with the chorus of answers but explained at the heart of all this is the client.

Marina talked about her background as a trained and qualified marketer and her vast experience with the creative industries when working at the marketing department at music record label EMI in Germany.  She was responsible for national and international marketing campaigns from branding to promotion, for B2B and B2C (business to business and business to consumer).

When she moved to the UK in 2002, she took on the role of marketing manager for a creative and digital media business start-up hub SP/ARK at the University of Wolverhampton’s Science Park.  Here, she supported creatives to become sustainably business savvy. That’s where she discovered not only her talent for coaching but also that – in combining it with her marketing skills and experience – she could help all the creative and talented business owners who struggle to identify their USP (unique selling proposition) and their niche with their branding and marketing to develop their business successfully.

What’s the work profile of your client?

To be successful in business, you must be able to meet your client’s needs sensibly and profitably. Without this, you only have a hobby rather than a business.

You need to find out as much detail about your clients as possible so that you can profile them, understand them as meticulously as if you knew your ideal client from inside out (as much as you would your best friend). By building rapport with a potential customer, you need to be specific about their needs and wants:

  • Likes / dislikes
  • Age and incomes
  • Understanding your demographic
  • What they watch / read / listen
  • How they spend their leisure time, their hobbies and interests

Social media can be key to engaging and getting new customers. Before the days of social media, it needed 7 touches of marketing to secure a new client.  Since the arrival of social media and the vast opportunities of engagement marketing through various channels, it involves multiple leading touches until a sale is made; some are saying it takes up to 36 touches before you can win a new client.

But without a marketing strategy, focus and a plan, you can easily be wasting time, energy and money.

What is the treasure box in your business?

It is your database with all your contacts: prospects, clients, suppliers, peers, partners, social media lists (Twitter Followers, Facebook Likes and Friends etc.) Your database reflects your hard business work and your biggest asset in your business. The database gives you the opportunity to establish a direct dialogue with your (prospective) clients via blogs, emails and newsletters. You can email members on your database / target members about special offers and upselling opportunities.  These are warm leads to inform them about anything new ie. launches and educate them about your area of expertise to develop a “know – like – trust” relationship; The key foundation to build a successful business.

Marina also considers the blog as being a powerful marketing tool: “A blog is the heartbeat of your website!” Done well, regularly and consistently it keeps your website alive, attractive and is ideal for organic Google rankings.  This is because you are embedding all SEO search engine optimization relevant keywords in your blog to increase traffic to your website.

Branding comes from the inside out: your passion, personality, values and integrity are all part of your business brand and your business identity.  This is crucial to distinguish yourself from competitors and becoming the darling of your clients.

Don’t underestimate pricing as a marketing tool either. It helps you with branding, positioning and attracting who are the right clients for you. Depending on the nature of your business, you can either decide to display your prices on your website or not.  For product-based and e-commerce businesses, prices should be displayed on the website; However, if you are in the service business, you may or may not want to include them.  They can act as a source of information or as a deterrent effect for those who you wouldn’t want to have as customers in the first place. Pricing is a powerful marketing tool.

Feedback and Promotion

Marina also rates surveys, feedback and questionnaires as important measures helping every business to stay close to their clients and a method of how they can value their clients. Make sure you evaluate what you do: from networking events, to editorials, email marketing to social media: “what gets managed, gets measured”.  Analyse this information to see which marketing tools are working particularly well and which aren’t.

Her talk made us all think in a more focused way about marketing in that it is not only engaging with the social media platforms that bring us sales and customers but you also need to have a marketing strategy with a message that your prospective clients understand.  Marina left us with the memorable phrase ringing in our ears:

Fail to plan? = Plan to fail…!”