When working with newly set up businesses, most people ask me how much they should be spending on their initial marketing activities. It’s a difficult question to answer since each business is different, but before you even begin to think about specific costs, you must always make sure you have worked through these 4 essential steps:
- Create your offering – decide what it is you’re selling.
- Profile your target market – think in detail about exactly who you are selling to
- Develop your brand – how do you want your target market to perceive your company?
- Write the marketing strategy – what will you do to reach your target market?
All too often clients overlook steps 2 and 3 which leads to expensive marketing mistakes and poor results. It seems utter madness to me that you would embark on a marketing strategy without having given really detailed thought to who you are looking to reach. If you don’t know which magazines/blogs/social media platforms your couples look to, then where do you even begin? Any time or money spent on mediums that your clients don’t engage with is resources down the drain.
As for branding, I don’t think I can stress enough how much this matters to the Millennial market (have you seen our mini guide to the Millennial market? Subscribe to our newsletter to get this). Modern couples want to feel comfortable with every supplier they book and this means a consistent message across all your activities. This is NOT the place to skimp on the marketing budget and for goodness sake work with a professional on your branding package!
For a more comprehensive answer to the question ‘what should my start-up budget for marketing?’, check out our infographic below and look out for the next issue of Open Air where I have expanded on all 4 steps. The article has wedding venues specifically in mind but the principles are the same regardless of what product or service you are bringing to the industry.