Doing Market Research is usually one of the very first steps that needs to be done when creating business strategies. This helps you set prices; pave the way for all of the services you decide to offer and figure out the best way to provide them, among other things. Research is one of the most critical phases of the process to fully understand your company and meet needs in the market. As there are many different methods to research, it can be quite a varied process. Some companies can invest more time than others, while others can invest more money. These include the deciding factors as to how in-depth it goes. As Market Research comes with tons of very detailed questions as a way to dig into exactly who you are as a company and other related areas, it often leaves many business owners baffled. The good news is that there is a simple way to get to the root of what you are trying to achieve.
A few questions that one may ask when doing a evaluation of their business would be:
- What will I be offering?
- To whom will I offer it?
- What problem am I trying to address?
- What price would someone pay to acquire my product or service?
- Is my product new or an improvement upon one that already exists?
- Where will I promote my product or service?
- How will get this information to my prospective clients?
- Where are my prospective clients or customers located?
Knowing if you can supply a certain demand is necessary. Here are three ways you can get some good feedback from your target audience:
- Focus Groups
After you have decided which route you will like to go, be sure to pay close attention to the analytics. The feedback you receive from your survey, poll or focus group will be your window into what your target market really wants. A few questions you may want to ask to get insight on what others think about your competitors and the industry itself may be:
- What do you like most about (add your competitor’s name here)?
- How valuable is their product or service to you?
- What keeps you loyal to their brand?
- As a customer, what else would you like to be offered in terms of services and products?
By asking simple, yet effective questions such as these, you are enabling yourself to gain insight on what others candidly think of the industry and your competitors, ultimately giving you a head start on how to bridge the gap. This information would be your ticket to the top.
Let Sunny Day Marketing help take your business to the heights of success we know you can achieve. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
Developing a Marketing Strategy- How to Reach Your Business Goals
For all business owners, the ultimate goal behind creating a marketing strategy is simple: achieving business success. Increasing your bottom line, building brand awareness, generating new leads, or creating an air of trust between existing and prospective clients are amongst the top motivators. Within your marketing strategy, you will want to be very clear in expressing who you are, what you do, what you offer, how qualified you are and of course, why prospects should use your services or buy your products. The reason for coming up with a strategy is to effectively communicate why customers should work or form a relationship with you.
There are many companies that have mastered the art of successfully marketing their businesses. Companies such as Chick-fil-A, with their widely known ‘Cow Campaign’ took the world by storm and after years of being in business and marketing consistently, Chick-fil-A is wildly successful franchise. With dedication, sticking to what you believe in and offering quality service, the sky is the limit. Of course, arriving at your success level of choice is no easy task. It takes a well-thought out plan and dedicated implementation of that plan.
For your strategy to work, it has to be properly executed and configured. In this case, for a business owner looking to climb the golden ladder of greatness, you have to be multi-faceted and consistent. Marketing is a constant job and requires dedication as well as flexibility. It is the very source of how your business thrives so ensuring that the right message is being generated and heard, you must invest in the proper resources. Short cuts are never recommended.
As we stated, in every marketing plan, your strategy should be clearly articulated. Here are a few suggestions as to the direction it should take and what it should contain:
- Define your product or service
- Determine your goal
- Establish who your target market will be
- Study your competition and business trends
- Figure out what sets you apart from your competition
- Be flexible enough to know that change will come with time and be okay with modifying your plan
- Determine best platforms to promote your product or service
- Create a timeline
These are just some of the main points that every business should include in their marketing strategy in order to be successful. We here at Sunny Day Marketing are always excited in seeing our clients shine. We’d love to see how we could help your business grow- call us today at 347-460-8179 or visit us at http://sunnydaymktg.com.
Compete for a share of $50,000 in small business grants.
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest will be accepting entries January 6, 2014 through February 9, 2014.
*Description from the FedEx website:
Register for the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, and tell us what separates your business from the rest. You could win:
- Grand prize grant of $25,000
- Four first-place grants of $5,000
- Five second-place grants of $1,000
Entering is simple. Click the contest registration button below and submit your business story and photos by February 9. Once your application is approved and the voting period begins, you can vote for your business once a day – and get your friends, customers, and associates to vote for your business every day. Voting period is January 16 through February 23.
The number of votes you receive will boost your visibility in the contest and is one factor that FedEx will consider when selecting the top 100 finalists and the winners. We will review every submission to identify the most compelling business stories. So tell us your story today, and you could walk away with one of ten grants to invest in your business.
For more information on the grant and to enter the contest, visit their website at https://smallbusiness.fedex.com/grant-contest
REPETITION- do you truly understand the force behind the word when it comes to your business?
Many times people tend to focus on the end result and miss out on the process that it took to achieve it. As a business owner, it’s almost automatic to evaluate other establishments, purposefully or not. The simple question as to ‘what makes a particular company so successful?’ is one that is muttered more often than average. The answer is simple, repetition. It’s not about where that business is now; it’s more so about where they came from. The mistakes and failures they have had to endure and overcome to be where they are today. Mistakes are teachers and learning from them is a key piece to the puzzle.
For all businesses, start-ups and established companies, it requires the motivation to continue on through good and bad. Repetition allows you to build your brand and become the household name you’ve wanted to be. As we say here at Sunny Day Marketing, marketing never stops! It’s constant. If you stop marketing that means you have no business, and let’s face it, without customers and leads you have nothing. It’s the way of the world and as a business owner it’s your duty to stay ahead of the game. Through trial and error, greatness is born. It takes making many mistakes for you to become the business that you want to. According to Abraham Lincoln, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” How content are you?
We’ve come up with a few ways that you can take your mistakes and make them great. Begin by getting more organized; it’s the best way to ignite motivation within your business.
- Create short term and long-term marketing goals. Explore the Who, Where, What, Why, When and How’s of your business
- When you have your goals down pact, brainstorm the outlets in which you would like to promote your company
- By establishing where you will be promoting you can now create content calendars of appropriate messages that speaks volumes for your business and touch base with your target market
- Be sure to highlight the benefits of your services and not oversell your products
- Give consumers something to believe in. What do you stand for? When you firmly believe in something, people tend to follow.
Stay consistent in setting goals and evaluating your company’s success. Doing this helps build momentum and stimulates you to achieve greater things. Being repetitive has never been for a better cause.
For more marketing tips, contact Sunny Day Marketing today and schedule your consultation at 347-460-8179.
We’ve all heard it before, the holidays are here, and it’s a slow time for business. It is almost expected that the end of the year marks less profit-more expense. We’re ready to break that tradition, how about you? Ushering in the New Year on a high note is but a few key moves away and if done correctly, you won’t feel like Santa has purposefully dropped coal in your stocking. Some of the best marketing strategies are free, less time consuming than you think and you won’t have to miss a beat with your family during this holiday season. With your help, we are re-branding what the end of the year is known for; we are revolutionizing marketing to make it more dynamic and less costly for you.
What sells? Repetition does. Before you set out to market your business this holiday, keep in mind that others are probably gearing up to doing the same. Your goal should be to remain consistent, in a non-spammy way of course. By always positioning yourself in front of your customers, you become memorable and that is exactly what you want. Create a plan that would be effective for your business and stick with it. By having a focal point you will no longer waste time trying to figure out what to do next, your plan would save you time and energy, being your road map to greatness. Below we’ve listed a few ways to jump-start your marketing campaign on a small budget.
- Create Time Limited Offers to encourage customers to ACT NOW
- Seek to find what your competitors are not offering and offer it
- Send Emails, Newsletters, or Direct Mailers to stay in front of your customers
- Send ‘Thank You’ Cards. Remember that every customer wants to feel as though they’re your only customer
- Introduce ‘End of Year’ Incentives. Offer attractive discounts and/or Prizes
- Keep your Social Media Platforms up to date. It is not only ‘social’ it is also reputation management
- Give away a few branded items with your company’s logo on it. Magnets, pens, T-shirts are amongst some of the popular ones
- Have a customer appreciation/holiday party, give away favors with a discount card, your business card and of course a small token from your store
- Blog like crazy. Keeping your website up-to-date with fresh content allows you the luxury of being easily found on the search engines
- Be sure that every customer between now and the new year has copies of your store’s fliers and business cards
All of your marketing should be measured so that you can see your ROI (Return On Investment). Not all investments are financial but that does not make it less important. By knowing what works and what does not, it will help you determine what actually motivates your customers to buy and create new leads.
As a small business owner the holiday season can be a time that can make or break your business. Over the years the concept of “Black Friday” has been popularized and swarms of consumers can be seen rushing to the big chain stores following their Thanksgiving day. The concept of “Cyber Monday” may be fairly new, but according to an IBM report, total sales reached $1.98 billion on Cyber Monday in 2012, a 17% increase from 2011. These statistics may be daunting for a small business owner, but there is something that can place small businesses on a similar playing field as the big chain stores and online outlets. “Small Business Saturday” is a concept popularized in 2010 by American Express during an advertising campaign. According to American Express consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at small business retailers and restaurants in 2012.
All businesses should begin to reach out to their email contacts by sending out one email a week mentioning whatever promotions and sales your business will have on that Saturday. To build your email list it is important to obtain the email addresses from all the consumers that shop at your store. It is important to keep in mind that this is time consuming so expediting the email collection process can be advantageous. Make it enticing for a consumer to give their email address by offering a discount at the register. Aside from email your business should take full advantage of its social media networks and schedule tweets and Facebook posts regarding your Saturday specials. Another way to spark interest would be to run a Facebook contest where user activity is rewarded. Businesses can visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/marketing-materials for customizable banners that they can add to their social media sites that will let users know that the business is participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. You can also encourage consumers to shop at your establishment by re-investing a portion of the sales to a local need.
Make sure whatever promotional route you take is posted on all your social media networks and sent to consumers via an email blast. Utilize fliers and banners outside your storefront as well; it is important to let consumers passing by know about your sale as well as your participation in Small Business Saturday. If your business hasn’t already you can register for discounts and get additional information about Small Business Saturday here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2473/small-business-saturday
The holiday season is in full effect and this can be a great time for your business to take advantage of a holiday marketing campaign. With Thanksgiving around the corner many consumers will be looking for holiday discounts as well as gift shopping. More consumers are realizing that this can be a hectic time to shop and are opting to shift their holiday shopping from brick-and-mortar to a more online approach. An online storefront is a great asset for a business to have especially around this time, but how can you differentiate your storefront from the other sites? There are a few things to consider when following an online approach.
The best way to bring consumers inside of a a physical storefront is to create an appealing environment, so the same should be done with a website. Consider decorating your website with a holiday theme, it doesn’t have to extravagant, simple things such as changing the background, implementing snow and animated Santa’s and other holiday themes; this will show the consumer that you are participating in a holiday special and therefore they will be more inclined to look at your website as opposed to one that has kept the same theme throughout the seasons. By not updating your website to reflect certain events such as holidays or specials it gives the consumer the impression that your business is inactive and they will be less inclined to follow through with a purchase.
Another thing that your business can consider is implementing a free shipping campaign. This can be one of the most effective ways at reaching a customer and getting a purchase. The holiday season is a time where consumers are rushing for last minute gift buying with limited time and money. Come up with a time frame that would be feasible and be sure to let your audience know about your offer through your social network accounts, your email subscriber list, and participating in other blogs that are relevant to your customer base. An optimal time to begin letting people know about your offer is before the peak shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There is a national initiative called Free Shipping Day – check it out here.
Search Engine Marketing is another tool that your business can use to stand out for the holiday season. Be sure to link your business with holiday relevant terms such as “Cyber Monday deals” and “holiday sale.” Utilizing retargeting advertisements are also a good way to reach out to your existing customer base and letting them know about the holiday specials that your business is offering. A
retargeting advertisement will place a banner advertisement for your website throughout the web, but will only be visible to users who have visited your website in the past.
Another way to maintain your current customer base during the holidays is offer existing customers a special sale or an exclusive. Depending on your businesses social media presence, a social media contest can do a lot to help a business gain exposure during the holidays. Utilizing clever hashtags and holiday themed contests would be a great way to engage customers and create a buzz. Being that the holidays are a time for giving it would also make sense for your business to participate in some charitable causes such as toy’s for tots. Charitable causes will help build your brand and will result in positive press. Be sure to take pictures and videos of your business participating in these events so that you can upload them to your social media networks. With these tools and holiday ideas your business should find it’s way onto plenty of customers holiday wish list.
If you need us to develop a holiday marketing campaign for your business, contact us today at email@example.com or 347-460-8179.
Small Businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits of using social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Promotion is the obvious way in which a social network presence can help a small business succeed. Increasing the amount of “likes” and building a large enough following is a great way to create a strong brand.
The benefits of social networking go beyond the amount of promotion received. Using a site like Facebook enables brands to have direct access to both the demographics and the psycho-graphics of their consumer base. For example a small business that has developed enough of a following can use the information of their followers to pick up on any trends and similarities in habits. These similarities can then be used to properly allocate resources in a more efficient way to target consumers.
It is known that it is more cost effective to retain current customer relations as opposed to acquiring new customers. The more active a business is on social media the more potential it has for retaining a customer base. A successful business will closely monitor any comments left by their customers and respond to any suggestions and complaints. Social media offers consumers a way to express their experience with certain businesses, and also offers an opportunity for these businesses to use this information at their disposal.
Chances are your competitors also have a social media presence. The easiest way to see what your competitor has planned is to check their social media pages. More than often businesses will post promotional deals to get more customers. A successful business will take note of ideas that worked and be sure to avoid ideas that failed. By observing the social network activity of your competitors you will be able to act accordingly and understand the state of your industry.
So next time your business considers a marketing tool, be sure that you’ve taken advantage of social media and all of its benefits.
While most businesses can now agree that social media can be beneficial to their bottom line, they still struggle with the most effective ways to market themselves on social media. Below are 6 more tips to follow up our last post on social media marketing (Social Media Tips – Part 1) to utilize to make your brand connect with your customers on the various platforms.
- To save time and be more efficient in the long run, create a monthly social media calendar and content outline.
- Do you engage in twitter chats? If not, you should start now. You get to connect with potential clients or partners and also learn a lot about different subjects in the process.
- Don’t get hung up on the number of likes you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter. It’s more important to connect with a smaller amount of the right audience than a larger amount of the wrong audience.
- There are more effective social media networks to help you grow your business than just Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Research to see if there are any specific to your industry or field and get involved with them.
- Advertising on Facebook can be the magic key to getting your product or services in front of the right audience. Contact them to see if you can get a credit to try it out for a limited time. The beauty of Facebook advertising is how niched you can set your target market parameters.
- Insight information is very key when it comes to determining what type of content to continue to post. Make sure you check your social media analytics at least monthly to help guide what future content to share.
While most businesses can now agree that social media can be beneficial to their bottom line, they still struggle with the most effective ways to market themselves on social media. Below are some tips to utilize to make your brand connect with your customers on the various platforms.
- Visuals get more attention than text on social media so when you can, post an image or video to illustrate your content.
- When posting content, think about your audience and share what you feel they will find beneficial. Every so often ask them if there is anything specific they’d like to see.
- To keep managing your pages an interesting experience, choose a persona for your page. It should represent your brand culture and have a distinctive voice. This persona should be used in your email marketing as well.
- Social media is not all about posting information from your brand. It’s also about engaging with other brands and seeing what fruitful connections you can make.
- Know your audience and where they convene. For example, a social media network like LinkedIn is great for B2B companies as it as a network centered on connecting professionals.