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Doing Marketing on Your Own

There is a common notion that businesses have to rely on marketing experts. However, not all can afford to outsource expertise. But it should not deter small businesses from already investing in ads. While advertising is an extensive field in itself, it still belongs to the realm of communications. And communication is something that all of us do. If you are a start-up that is hoping to enter the market but could not yet afford an expert to do marketing campaigns and design advertisements, what you can do is make a basic communication strategy. But first off, try to understand deeper the communication processes.

The most basic communication model has, in its core, the sender and receiver of the message.

George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright and critic, said that ‘the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’ What it means is that the sender might assume that his or her message is understood by the receiver exactly as how the sender wanted it to be understood. Unfortunately, communication is not that simple. For example, two people might understand the word ‘quick’ differently. Let’s say a business (sender of the message) guarantees ‘quick results’ of their product. They could know that other products would take seven months to accomplish the result, whereas their product would only take five months. ‘Quick’ then is two months faster than the other brands. However, a consumer (receiver of the message) might not know the reference and thus could interpret ‘quick’ as a week or two. Messages should, therefore, be concise—unless you intend to be vague. But ambiguity is the kind of marketing strategy best left to experts.

Understand the sender: you.

Branding is an entirely meticulous process, but you can also try to do it yourself. At the basic, you should know your identity, your niche, and how you want to present yourself. Understanding yourself is not just about knowing what you are selling and your business operations. Understanding yourself also means knowing how others perceive you. For example, you are a small company engaged in producing hydroelectricity. Hydroelectricity might be related to big dams and environmental problems. Even if you are operating simply on run-offs, meaning you don’t do big dams, you have to understand that, to the minds of your possible clientele, you could be lumped with environmental abusers. This would be important later on when you craft your messages.

Understand the receiver.

The world of marketing revolves mostly around the receivers—the target clients and buyers. Big companies use data analytics and implement Business Intelligence (BI) plans to check how they are performing vis-à-vis the market. But if you are still starting, you can rely on free public data in trying to visualize your specific market. Learn from the statistics of the consumption patterns of households. If available, learn specific consumer preferences—demographics of people who will likely to buy a particular product in a specific month or the quarter offices usually stock their supplies. Best yet, if you are a small business, get to know your market personally. Engage with the regular John or Jane Doe and try to get as many ideas as you can. If you can afford a small survey, it’s a useful investment to plan out your strategy properly.

Be mindful of your message.

content marketing doodles As was already mentioned, use exact words to avoid misinterpretation resulting in possible client disillusion. Use the appropriate tone and language for your target market. Are they professionals who prefer formal tones? Would they prefer a personal-sounding message? Are they interested in dramatic information? Do they have their own jargon? There are other things that you would also need to consider afterward, like placing your message. In communication parlance, it would be referred to as the ‘channels.’ Where would your target market best see it? How about the greater public? Do you want them to engage with your ad? Or do you simply want to establish a presence? These things you can think about after you have honed your message. Ad experts would also know what colors or what designs would best attract the audience. You could also search for the basics of color impacts and go through popular ads to see how they are designed. You can also go directly to freelance artists who you will need to pay adequately but may not be as expensive as marketing and ad experts who already come with a project team. So these are just things that you could do while you still can’t afford professionals to do the job for you. It is also a good start because it will give you a grasp of your identity as a business.
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