My wonderful marketing co-ordinator Viv and I, took time out this morning to review what marketing we are currently doing, identify our target audience and think about how we can improve the way we make people aware of our various products and services.

MarketingI continually tell clients to review their current marketing, what they are doing and who they are marketing to, but I rarely take time to do it myself!  It is a typical “painter who never finishes painting his house” scenario. So I decided now Viv has been with me for a few months, it was time to do what I preached!

In reality, we aren’t quite that bad. Since Viv has joined the team, we have a much larger presence on social media and have already developed new leads as a result. What I wanted to do today was to identify a more specific target audience for the various products and services that we offer and how to generate more awareness for the product and service as well as focus on marketing the benefits of the product or service.

Security on Google+ UpdatesFor example, we have a range of detailed interactive E-Learning courses in each of the social media tools. The courses are selling, but we would like to sell more and get them seen by a larger audience.

So who would be the typical customer for our E-Learning courses? This was an easy one to profile as Viv identified herself (or any sole trader). Before Viv started to work for Concise Training, she had her own graphical design business. To market the business, she spent money on Yell, Google Adwords and other advertising networks because she was told it was a good idea. She spent nearly £1000 a year with little response. A significant investment for a small business. She has young children, so attending training workshops and networking events are tricky.

So clearly an audience for our E-Learning courses would be sole traders, start-ups and people working at home.

Identifying our customer profile also helped us to identify the benefits of our E-Learning courses to our target audience:

  • Save money. For a small initial investment you can control your own message, do your own marketing and build brand awareness with a larger number of people.
  • Get immediate feedback on what is working. On social media you can see immediately which updates get the most engagement, leads or shares.
  • The courses are updated twice a year so you can update yourself with changes in marketing.
  • You have access to the courses for 12 months. Even though Viv has been using social media on behalf of Concise Training for a few months, she still revisits the courses to refresh herself on particular techniques
  • Work at your pace in your office. You have to be motivated to do the learning – but I think this comes naturally to anybody in business. These courses mean that you can learn in the evenings / weekends or anywhere you have a broadband connection. From January they will be available on tablets.

The next steps were to identify how best to reach this group of people and how best to tell them about the benefits of the courses – I’m not going to give away all my secrets, but give me a call if you want to know more!

We went through this process for all our products and services and then set targets for next year that we could both work towards to ensure the business continues to grow.

A useful morning that we are going to repeat on a quarterly basis. It is easy to think that there is too much work to spend time working on the business and planning – but it is worth doing to ensure that everybody in the business is working on the same page. And we finished with a nice lunch which always makes the day seem better!

What planning have you done on your business recently?