Marketing your organisation is key if you want people to remember who you are, what you do and to come to you when they want your product or service type.
A good brand conveys the message of the product it wants to sell through its logo, its marketing and advertising, its colour scheme and its messages.
So what do you need to do to get your marketing right?
A clear message
You need to start with a clear message that you'll convey to the world with your product or service. What do you want to say? What do you stand for? What qualities does your brand have?
Decide what statements you want to make and ensure everyone in the company from top to bottom, knows what they are, and what you want to convey.
Create a strategy
Before your undertake any marketing, ensure you have created a strategic plan.
You might have several different aims, so make sure you create separate strands of your plan for each aim. Look at where you are now, and what you currently offer. Who are your competitors and how are you different from them? What's your unique selling point?
Ask yourself who is your ultimate audience? Who do you want to buy your product or service? Who are you reaching out to? What do your target audience look like? How do they act? What other brands do they buy?
Identify what you want to achieve from marketing - is it to boost sales, raise awareness of products or services, increase mailing list numbers or get people talking? Set your goals and make sure they're SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed).
Develop your communication strategy - how are you going to get these messages across? Make sure you think about a digital communications strategy, and social media communications. Will you use print marketing, create leaflets or posters? Will you involve influencers (see below for more on this)? Make sure you refer back to your target audience and that you understand how they prefer to be communicated with.
Finally, set a marketing budget, which will impact on your reach and your channels. If you have a small budget it's unlikely you'll be able to market through traditional media such as TV, film and magazine. However, you will still be able to have a wide reach through Facebook and Google advertising.
A strong logo
Create a logo which is distinctive and strong enough to be easily remembered. Think about what you're trying to convey and invest in a designer to get that message across.
Colour is key too. Choose yellow for optimism, clarity and warmth. If you want to convey creativity, imagination and wisdom go for purple. Blue is about trust, dependability and strength whilst green conveys messages of health, peace and growth. Go for red if you want to create excitement, promote youth and be bold.
Get this logo everywhere; on your corporate notebooks and stationery, on marketing information, on your website and emails.
Use your logos and branding colour scheme on everything you can. The My Own Stationery hardback business notebooks and twin wire business notepads are perfect for this.
Design notebooks for staff with your logo, and your mission statement on the front and back so the message is clear. Give them out as corporate gifts to your clients so they have a clear message about your product or service, and what you stand for. They're more likely to remember you than a competitor who doesn't market their message so loudly.
Work with influencers
Influencers on platforms like Instagram are key to today's modern marketing methods. In fact, 75% of marketers now use influencer marketing.
Identify influencers who fit the vision of your product; maybe it's how they dress, how they speak, how they present themselves, the activities they do, where they work, or the statements they make.
Most influencers will want to try a product or service to recommend it, so get in touch and tell them what you're about, give them an opportunity to try out what you offer and truly understand your organisation.
Sending them a personalised business notebook, particularly if they're a writer or blogger is a nice touch and will cement their awareness of your product or service.
Your website and emails should be an extension of your brand; not just from the point of view of colour scheme and logo, but also from the message you want to get across. Is your brand young and fun? Your content should be written in this way. If your product is high end and for a more sophisticated clientele, ensure your content has the right formality.
It's not just about the branding and style of your content though. It's important you understand search engine optimisation (SEO), and get this right. Making sure your marketers keep up to date with the changes in SEO is important, because something that helps you rank highly in search engines this week can change next week.
Readability of content is key too - ensuring that you have well spaced out paragraphs, headings and images where appropriate will lead to longer dwell times, and higher ranking.
Websites that are clean, modern and have few distractions look great. Beware of advertising. This might be a source of revenue for your website, but it needs to be relevant, and if it's taking a long time for your page to load then you might find the reader gets bored and moves on.
Get your whole organisation on board
Once you've created your marketing, and developed your message, make sure this is communicated and embedded throughout the organisation. Every staff member from board level to assistant level should be able to tell you what the company's vision and mission is and what this means in practical terms.
This can be embedded through personal performance reviews, team meetings, conferences, personalised business notebooks, desktop backgrounds, and TV screens in your reception areas, meeting rooms and staff rooms.
If every employee knows what the organisation stands for, and how their role fits into delivering the overall mission and vision of the company, this will not only lead to more motivated staff, but will also create a strong, consistent message no matter who your customer comes into contact with, further reinforcing your marketing and branding.