In this guest post, Gooroo’s GM of product and marketing, Andrew Aitken (pictured below), offers his top tips when the marketing budget’s tight…
Marketing is an essential function for any small business or fast growth company, but the reality for most companies at this stage is that they don’t have the budget to recruit a top CMO – at least not in the early days.
Marketing, if any, is very tactical – a rinse and repeat approach – that lacks the impact needed for future growth.
The good news is that it is possible to have a highly effective marketing function on a shoestring. It starts with revisiting the basics and gaining a deeper understanding of the customer so communications, however simple, are targeting the right people in the right way.
Get the fundamentals rights
Every brand needs solid marketing fundamentals. There is no point launching into targeting and outreach if the brand narrative, look and feel and basic tech set up is wrong. For brands with minimal marketing budget, this should be spent in the first instance on ensuring the business is giving the right first impression. A good logo and design assets, a strong elevator pitch about the company, well-written web copy, optimised social media presence, basic Google My Business listings, and ideally some form of customer management system (CMS). So obvious it doesn’t warrant mentioning, right? Wrong. It is genuinely shocking the number of young companies that reverse engineer the marketing basics. They launch into tactics like programmatic targeting, only to realise they’re confusing or turning away potential customers. For companies without a dedicated expert to set the basics in motion, seek support from experienced consultants or freelancers to ensure the brand proposition is clear.
Look for meaning in data
In a tech-enabled world, data has become the panacea of marketing success, which is largely true if you have the know-how to wade through the confusion.
Most medium-sized businesses typically have some sort of marketing function, and are likely collecting plenty of data, but aren’t necessarily using it properly, if at all.
The problem with this is not only that marketing becomes a guessing game, it also risks putting a brand at risk by pinpointing audiences that aren’t going to convert, leaving a bad taste in their mouth over haphazard, unwanted targeting.
It is a misconception that data analysis requires huge man hours and technical capabilities. It is possible to make sense of data with few resources, provided the data being collected is meaningful.
Data that tells you how your customers make decisions
What emerging businesses really need is to understand how their customers make choices, because this is the ultimate determinant of conversion.
Gooroo’s approach to data is built around sociographics, which seeks to understand the mindset of the individual and the way their approach their decision-making. Where someone lives, their life stage, age, income and other personal attributes all contribute to how they go about making up their mind. While they might browse a product, or say they want something, we look at all the factors impacting their choices.
The beauty of this approach is that it can be ‘plugged in’ to any human data set assets, including geo-demographics and behavioural data – the type of data that most small businesses are already amassing through email marketing, purchase records, possible CSAT scores and more.
This data can be analysed to produce customer mindset profiles that show the different approaches to decision making, helping organisations find clear answers to ‘What is the mindset of the customer?’, ‘What motivates them to buy’ and ‘How do I best communicate with them?’
Small businesses don’t need the shiniest marketing tool. If they get the basics right and start to make sense of their data so all communication is targeted and meaningful, they will set themselves on a path toward better product development and great customer experiences.