All businesses need to allocate a good deal of resources to market their products and services if they are to be successful. It will not be self evident to the average purchaser that you provide the best management training, IT equipment or conservatories! Potential customers need to be told.
However, successful marketing is not simply about buying a few branded pens and paperweights and investing in an advertising campaign. It is about getting the fundamentals right in the first place.
The first “fundamental” activity is to deliver a quality product, service or experience in the first place. Investing in management training can help to ensure that all staff are motivated, capable and committed to this goal. Happy customers will naturally recommend your products or services to others without any prompting from you. Conversely, if staff are not committed to delivering a quality experience, no amount of promotions or advertising will change this.
Secondly, be clear about what is unique about your product or service that will enable your business to stand out from the crowd. For example, if you offer management training and development services what will set your business apart from the plethora of other training providers? Is it your approach, intellectual property or combined experiences?
Thirdly, proactively work with your existing customers. This may be in the form of promoting a wider range of products/services to them or alternatively using them as a route to winning new customers. For example, retailers use reward schemes that encourage and reward their customers for spending more money with them. Other examples include health or golf clubs who reward their members for recruiting their friends, family and work colleagues.
Finally, utilise your staff. Employees who are motivated, committed and happy will talk to their family and friends about what a fantastic place their work is and how their products/services are better than anyone else’s. It is therefore vital that managers are trained appropriately to get the most out of their staff.
Successful marketing is not just about advertising and promotion, it is also about getting the “fundamentals” right and appropriate investment in management training will help the business to get these in place. Once complete, the business is then in a position to invest in the more “traditional” aspects of marketing.