The following material comes from the forthcoming eBook, Marketing Essentials for Growing Businesses. To get this eBook for free when it comes out, register by clicking here.

A common question new business owners ask is, “What types of marketing should I do first when starting a new business?” Consider the five basic marketing strategies. These strategies are five “buckets” that include various items in each. The items are different traction channels—to use a different analogy—through which businesses can gain momentum through marketing.

1. Digital. Reaching potential customers through the Internet.
2. Print. Printing physical advertising on paper.
3. TV and Radio. Marketing your products through waves.
4. Event participation. Sharing your brand at special events.
5. Networking. Attending networking events or leveraging personal relationships to increase brand visibility.

While there’s crossover between these types of marketing, these buckets are helpful to consider when forming your long or short term strategy for marketing. I don’t suggest doing all of these at once, but neither do I suggest put all your eggs in one bucket. It’s important to have at least two or three traction channels. Make these channels distinct enough that when you ask your customers, “How did you find us?” you’ll be able to distinguish between traction channels.

Where to start?

There’s no cookie-cutter method to marketing, no one size fits all approach. Your industry, let alone your product and brand, is unique, so let me give you principles to help along your journey as you discern the appropriate marketing path for your brand.

1. Get immediate sales.

First, whatever you do, your efforts need to bring in sales as soon as possible. Whether your marketing is digital, print, or networking, your investment needs to produce immediate sales. These sales may not represent the ideal sale or the even the biggest sale, but they’re revenue. That’s top priority at the beginning.

Once you have cash flow, then you can transition into targeted marketing strategies. At this point your marketing might target specific clientele, focus on specific market segments, or simply create brand awareness.

2. Think: Location, location, location.

When you’re considering various marketing strategies, remember that you must aim at the right *location*—that’s the most important thing for targeted marketing. For example, you don’t want to buy radio ads everywhere. You need to determine your demographic and which elements of that market you can quantify.

Let’s say you decide that the best strategy for you right now is radio ads. You’ll need to consider which age range you want to target. Age range is an element of your demographic. So if you’re wanting to sell a product to those 45 years of age and older, you probably don’t want advertise on a new pop radio station. You’ll want to place radio ads on oldies stations or something similar. Let’s say, on the other hand, you have family services to sell, you probably want to market on faith-based radio stations, because many families listen to those stations.

3. Keep your marketing efforts simple.

By narrowing your marketing strategy, especially at the beginning, you will get the most value. Instead of trying five things at one time, try two. Not only will this help you maximize your efforts and get value, but you’ll also be able to test your traction channels.

In order to narrow your efforts into a simple strategy, ask yourself three questions.

– What product or service am I selling?
– Who am I trying to sell to?
– Where am I going to find those I’m selling to?

4. Create Marketing Personas

In order to keep your marketing simple and target specific potential customers, you need to create personas—a detailed description of whom you intend to reach with marketing.

Your marketing “personas” as I have called them impact which buckets into which you’ll invest your marketing efforts and funds. Your typical customer may not listen to the radio, as I mentioned above, so radio ads in this case are not a good idea. Let’s say your ideal customer reads a lot, then you might want to find a newspaper or magazine in which to market your product. For example, reach out to a local lifestyle magazines. That’s how market your brand in print.

Let’s say your target market includes “car people”, you might consider wrapping your car and going to car events. Whomever it is, market directly to them.

As always, we’re glad to help you brainstorm you as you consider your company’s branding and think about how to put that brand out there. Give us a call! The number is (615) 462-5383.

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