Marketing essentials – a reminder of the basics


Marketing plays an essential part in the success of any product, new or old! I was lucky enough to attend the recent Marketing For Growth event in Halifax and it turned out to be a fantastic reminder of some of the key aspects of marketing – which are often easily forgotten!

The session was delivered by Jonny Ross, a jovial marketing specialist from Leeds. The funny thing about workshops like these is that you often end up with a motley crew from all different backgrounds which offers some fresh perspectives. This time there were members of the darkland brewery team, a food blogger, a parenting blogger, a photographer, a 3D designer and many more sat round the table.

Here are my 4 top takeaways I took from Jonny’s workshop:

1. Be as specific as possible in every avenue of your marketing.


Approaching your marketing activities with specific aims (using SMART goals) is way more impactful than broad-brush approaches. Closely targeted goals like “increase website traffic by 20% in 6 weeks through Facebook advertising” are going to steer your efforts WAY more than a less targeted goal like “get more traffic”. Similarly, marketing your product towards a very specific target market will have the same effect. If you know that most of your sales are coming from elderly Scottish men who have dogs, you also know exactly who to aim your content at.


2. Give your audience a really positive experience.


Jonny referenced how Virgin trains have the word ‘smile’ scrawled across their mirrors. He goes on to explain that the thinking behind that is one of clever marketing strategy – by putting a smile on the consumers face, there’s a chance they’ll reflect on that moment as a positive one (though some have said that particular campaign comes across as a “psychotic” personification. I’ll let you decide on that one…).

Think about where your audience may think “this is great, I’m glad I bought/read/did this”. Once you know where it is, use that moment as leverage and advertise it to your audience. For those creating learning products such as online courses, this may be while their energy is typically high (e.g. the start of their course), or at times of achievement.


3. The power of telling stories in your marketing campaigns.


If you have absolutely no idea what I mean when I say “telling stories”, you should read this article: “The Risk Not Taken” by Andy Dunn. This is a masterfully crafted story which touches on some really pertinent points for entrepreneurs. You become so much more invested in the story than you perhaps would if it was just the facts laid out in boring black and white.

Telling a story is a very personal thing to do. It’s what you do with your friends and it engages your readers on a much more friendly and emotional level. The funny, weird and wonderful stories you have about your business could be the perfect way to captivate your audience and really draw them into your work.


4. People talking about you could help you more than you might think.


The first thing you should know is this: Google loves it when a credible website links-back to your website. It definitely benefits how your site ranks, but it also gets your name in front of a new audience, which can’t hurt either. Asking people you’ve worked with to include you in one of their posts in a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and if you’ve provided an excellent service they most likely will be happy to help. You can even do the same for them!

Another great way to get people talking about your business is by finding the influencers of your sector. Marketer Seth Godin refers to them as “sneezers” – these are the people whom your target audience look up to. Because their word is so credible, your target audience will believe them when they say that your product is fantastic. Reaching out to the sneezers of your sector could help you bring in a huge amount of traffic, and quickly spread the word of your business.

Those are my top 4 takeaways, I hope you find them as useful as I did!

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