What's in your recipe for marketing success? Here are 4 key ingredients
As Monarch Bank’s marketing chief, Nancy Porter launched the popular “Top Flight” award program and the company’s clever, community-driven slogan: “Will Monarch go above and beyond for local businesses? Bank on it.”
This week she shares expert advice with “Put the Mmmm Back in Marketing,” a two-hour workshop at 8 a.m.May 10 at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce in Norfolk. The event, part of the chamber’s Business Education Series, will stress the four ingredients of a successful marketing plan, or as Porter describes them, the “Four M’s”: message, money, medium and measurement.
“Many small businesses think marketing consists of putting together a flyer or brochure,” said Porter, Monarch’s senior vice president of marketing and sales since 2007. “I realized throughout my career that marketing is much more than the campaign, much more than the medium like a flyer or even the marketing plan. It’s kind of how it all plays together.
Porter has two decades of experience in the field, including stints with large advertising firms and smaller boutiques in Hawaii and Virginia, plus three years running her own business. Clients have included Motorola, the Virginia Symphony and Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits.
Business owners should ask themselves the following questions, Porter says:
- Where are we now?
- Where should we be?
- How are we going to get there?
- What do we want to say?
- What’s our goal?”
How much do you have? How much can you realistically spend on marketing? Can you afford to advertise in the daily newspaper? How about one of the three network affiliates, or “spot channels”? Determining your budget will help determine the third “M”:
Maybe you want your message to appear in a TV commercial. Or perhaps direct mail is ideal for your products or services.
Just remember: The broader the reach, the higher the bill. Consider focusing on a niche audience. For example, if your Newport News shop now sells organic bubble bath, buy a 30-second spot during “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that’s broadcast only to Peninsula viewers.
Don’t forget social networking, an ideal medium for cash-strapped small businesses.
“Nowadays we have Facebook and your company’s website and email blasts,” Porter said. “Blogging, tweeting – there are so many free mediums now for smaller businesses.”
Implement some tools to gauge the success of your marketing efforts. Track unique hits on your website. Ask direct mail providers about response rates for various campaigns.
“All of this boils down to the one thing I’ve learned: If you do not have the buy-in from your sales team, it’s never going to work,” Porter said. “They’re your brand ambassadors. You’ve spent this time and money creating this campaign, but they have to believe in the message.”
Registration for “Put the Mmmm Back in Marketing” is $15 for chamber members and $45 for nonmembers. Porter will provide industry-specific ideas based on the types of businesses in attendance. For more information, visit the chamber’s website.