Image source: Krista Baltroka (Thank you!)

Simple tips for your small business to get the most out of your marketing budget.

At Ignition, we love working with clients to plan, design and implement assertive advertising and visual marketing campaigns. The best results are achieved by having a well-defined and focused brief. The outcome is a targeted, well-positioned and highly effective campaign.

As·ser·tive (Adj) [ə-ˈsər-tiv, a-]:
Characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior, self-assured. Neither defensive or passive, nor forcefully aggressive.

Before you get too deep into your next campaign, be sure to ask these questions:

1. Is my target market well defined?

This is about knowing your customers, both existing and prospective. It’s not just enough to know their demographics (eg. 35-50 year old women) – you’ve got to know what they do with their time, the language they use to communicate, and how the like to learn about new products and services.

This is a great article by Mandy Porta about getting into the nitty-gritty of defining your target market.

2. Am I using the right language?

Delivery matters – along with the copy, the medium, colour, imagery and typography of an advertisement are all crucial elements. They are the factors that ensure the target market notices your campaign.

It’s not just about having a pretty or pleasing outcome. The visual execution must appeal to the values of your target market, and must remain consistent with your brand identity.

3. Is it all going to plan?

Poor organisation will tear down even the most well-intentioned and creative strategies. It’s up to you to work out a system that works for your team. At the very least, develop a timeline for goals so everyone involved understands their requirements. Giving everyone enough time and the right framework to complete their tasks will lead to a better final result.

4. Is it measurable?

Keep track of how your campaign plays out. You should be able to tell from customer interest and sales, but some other tools to help you are:

Too Aggressive

Your marketing should be assertive, not aggressive

Image source: Matt Reinbold (Thank you!)

Consumers these days have less patience and a more sensitive ‘bull***t detector’. They will resist pushy sales and look elsewhere. Likewise, trying to sell your product to absolutely everyone is about as effective as selling it to no one at all.

With research and planning, an assertive marketing campaign will get better results than an overly aggressive strategy. And that means more bang-for-your-buck!

Too Little, Too Late

Likewise, marketing in an apologetic, vague or defensive way is pointless.

An easy way to avoid this is to ask: Do I have an explicit call-to-action? Ask your viewer to engage with your brand, but give them a reason to do so:

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For small businesses, although increasing brand awareness is important, you need to include a call-to-action if you want to build sales.

You probably already know that marketing is the most effective way to increase your bottom line. Take the time to research and plan, and you can develop an assertive marketing strategy that will give you great results.