Focus! Focus! Focus!

February 17, 2012

Small business marketing, make every dollar count.

At Hiscox we focus on providing small business insurance solutions to small professional service businesses such as consultants, technology businesses and marketing professionals. As Head of Marketing I need to ensure our marketing is focused on these specific segments. I recently did an interview for Direct Marketing News magazine on the importance of targeting – you can view the video below.

The same challenges apply to small business owners where every dollar has to deliver a return. My top 5 areas to think about are:

Focus on the right objective

What are you trying to achieve and how will success be measured? Do you want to build general awareness of your business? Or are you trying to drive people to your website and get them to call? Be clear on this as it will affect everything else you do.

The right message

What is important to your customers? What makes your product/service better than your competitors? What are the specific messages that make your proposition motivating, believable and relevant?

To the right people

You may sell to a range of customers but who is the core user of your product or service? Focus your messaging in everything you do (marketing, website, presentations) to this core segment.

At the right time

When are people most likely to need your service? Can you use other data, websites and media like paid search to ensure your business is always found in the right places at the right time.

Using the right medium

or example, what is the best medium for a photographer? Should you focus on getting your website to appear in organic search results, drive referrals from happy customers, try paid search (think ‘wedding photographer in San Fran’), online wedding websites, directories or local events? What about partnerships with wedding venues, social media or even local advertising? It’s easy to waste money on marketing. You need to be super clear on your objectives and think carefully about these areas to ensure you get a return on your investment.