Running a business is hard work. Turning your hand to every trade from Accountant to HR Manager to Marketing Director is an all-consuming, 24/7 job. Due to the enormity of roles a business owner has to juggle, marketing often slips down the list of priorities, or when times are a little harder (current Brexit market for example) marketing once again is one of the first things that can be dropped in order to save time and money. Even when times are good suddenly everyone in the business is too busy to do the marketing so it once again slips away. Although this happens within most businesses at some stage it can be one of the most damaging things to do. Marketing needs to be a constant; marketing needs to be always ‘on’ because marketing is actually always working, even when you don’t realise it.

Your business is a brand and the branding is already out there; branded material such as vehicles, business cards or leaflets, business listings and profiles in directories, magazines can still be circulating coffee tables and waiting rooms months if not years after an advert or advertorial is published and most importantly search engines, websites and social media are all 24/7. This is why no business should ever stop marketing because they are already out there, but a business needs to stay up-to-date, front of mind and current. Here are 6 tips on how to ensure you don’t let the marketing for your business slip:

  1. Review Current Marketing Activity: Carry out an annual Marketing MOT to evaluate what activity is currently being done and what the results and KPI’s are. This will give the business a better idea of what marketing activities require focus and what areas are potentially not reaching the correct target market.
  2. Set Aside Marketing Time: Block out the diary for several hours, or even a day, a week to focus on Marketing. Ensure that this weekly time doesn’t slip or get pushed back, try holding marketing meetings out of the office if there is too much distraction, turn phones on silent and even prepare an agenda or ‘To-Do’ list so none of the marketing elements get forgotten.
  3. Delegate Marketing Activities: If there is a small team delegate elements of the marketing activity so that it isn’t all your responsibility OR
  4. Employ An External Marketing Consultant: Outsource to a local marketing manager to support your business in planning and managing the marketing activity. Have a marketing expert advise and run the marketing so that you don’t need to do the day-to-day tasks and therefore can focus on the business itself and what you enjoy doing most.
  5. Brainstorm New Marketing Initiatives: Aim to keep your marketing fresh and up-to-date with new ideas and content generation. Look at what your competitors are doing and saying, think of the target market you want to sell to, this will help keep the business focused on regular marketing activity.

Finally, if time is tight:

  1. Look After Existing Customers: Focus marketing efforts on the existing customer base and market to them, send out content with business news, new products or services, create special offers to encourage repeat purchase discounts or loyalty offerings, use social media channels to target look-a-likes etc. 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers therefore look after them first.