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Building your marketing plan – September meeting review

Last week it was back to school and routine for us Mums in Business, so for most of us it was also time to get back on track with our businesses after the long summer holidays.  Many were raring to get back into the swing of it while others were in need of a little motivation, shall we say!

To give us a helping hand, this month we had a marketing strategy workshop with marketing consultant and mum in business Sarah West of McCarthy West.

We started the meeting with a roundtable of who’s who with each of us commenting on whether we had a marketing strategy and if so, what sort of things it incorporated.  You can see a list of who came to the meeting further down this post, and also photos of our meeting taken by one of our resident photographers Janet Penny in our Gallery.

  1. People are using a wide range of marketing approaches depending on their businesses and target markets, but in many cases marketing activities are fragmented with no underlying strategy to them.
  2. Those who have franchise businesses have a national marketing strategy distributed by the company and need to translate it to be applied on a local scale
  3. A small number definitely had a hint of strategy there despite their protestations!

However, regardless of which pot people fell into, there were several underlying trends:

  • We’re all getting business through word of mouth and that networking works
  • People are using a wide range of marketing techniques from snazzy HTML mailchimp emails, flyers, advertising and mailshots to demonstrations at events and cold calling, but almost everyone makes use of social media, primarily Twitter and Facebook.  You might want to take a look at our Social Media Month series of blog posts from social media trainer Maria Gandara of Wake Up Training for more information on this.
  • Advertising is not always successful in the early days of building a brand, although, as advised by our earlier speaker on branding, Mike Goode of Hop House Design, advertising is important to maintain your market position once your brand is built.

After our roundtable, Sarah led us in a step by step exercise to develop our own marketing, which nailed down the following key elements:

  • research to make sure you know and can define your market
  • create a portrait of your ideal customer so that you know how to reach them and what will be of interest to them
  • What’s in it for me? – give them benefits, not features!

Using Sarah’s marketing plan template so that we could develop, review and alter it as appropriate, we worked in small groups to identify the key benefits of our businesses for our ideal customer.

Finally, we asked her one question which was in everyone’s minds.

Q:  As we’re all busy mums with lots to do with very limited time, what’s the single most effective thing we can do to market our businesses?

A:  If you do nothing else, stay in touch with your previous customers – they know at least some of your products/services and hopefully recognise their value so might call again, and they can be your greatest advocates by recommending you

And after all learning there was a while to network and catch up!

Contact our speaker – Sarah West of McCarthy West

Website:  www.mccarthywest.co.uk

Email:     sarah@mccarthywest.co.uk

Phone:    07707 635 801

Twitter:  @smccarthywest

Directory page: click here

Who came this month?

  1. Agnieszka Owczarek Xtreme Lashes
  2. Angharad Brittle Angharad Llewelyn Bespoke Cakes*
  3. Ashleigh Richter, Hairdresser*
  4. Barbara Yeo Barbara Yeo Photography*
  5. Becci Addis Bespoke Homefinders
  6. Caroline Rance Caroline Rance Upholstery*
  7. Caroline Ort Powder & Glow*
  8. Caroline Wright The Wright Foot Forward
  9. Carolyn Gordon Waggatails*
  10. Chloe Simmons Do4Kidz Danceworks*
  11. Claire Witz Painted with Love and TW Mums in Business*
  12. Daniele Zabotkiene Ecotale*
  13. Dee Mortimer Reflexologist*
  14. Emma Houston Houston’s Nutritional Therapy*
  15. Emma Howitt Chitcombe Farm Weddings*
  16. Fay Hawkins Phase One Design*
  17. Fiona Penny Bespoke Homefinders
  18. Hajni Hayler Kiddie Bikes
  19. Hayley Gibson TW Reward Card
  20. Jade Pluck Virtually Anywhere*
  21. Jana Cinova EcoBroomPlus
  22. Jane Parker Talking Tots*
  23. Janet Penny Janet Penny Photography*
  24. Julie Mitchell Seodora Silver Jewellery*
  25. Julie Pinnell Priceless Treasures*
  26. Justine Hodgson-Barker Barkerbourne Designs*
  27. Karen McClure Garden Designer*
  28. Louise Wright ChYps
  29. Michele Duke Style on your Doorstep
  30. Natasha Furner EasySwitch*
  31. Nicky Silk Silk Interiors*
  32. Nicola Samels Usborne Books*
  33. Nikki Wetherell Fit & Fabulous Maternity Wear*
  34. Sarah Playle Fit for a Princess
  35. Sarah Rabbit Best in Glass
  36. Sarah West McCarthy West
  37. Tina Hall Sprinkles & Swirls*

* denotes member of TW MIBs