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Modern Marketing – thinking outside of the box! (Posted by Ian LeBruce of Cappuccino Ads)

Tue, 24 June 2014

So you’ve started your own company? BRILLIANT! First and foremost, good on you, being an entrepreneur is one of the best choices you will ever make in your life.
We are lucky enough to have been part of the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator for small businesses (we have now graduated into their nest program). Part of our responsibility is giving back and enabling the new chiclets who come into the hatchery (yes, these really are the names used!), and we see the same problems come up time and time again. One of the major problems that arises constantly is the question: ‘How do I get more customers?’ This is mostly down to a lack of marketing strategy that can be clearly articulated and easily understood.

As the owner of Cappuccino Ads, I’m well placed to provide some answers to this question. For those who don’t know who we are, we print portable advertising on environmentally-friendly takeaway coffee cups and distribute them to independent coffee shops across the UK. 

Create your marketing plan with a well laid out timeline (ours covers the next 12 months and is updated monthly). You should have a timeline with milestones and goal – your marketing strategy should link in well with this and there will usually be a correlation between the amount of marketing you are doing and the number of sales you are making. If you have a team, discuss and create the stages of the marketing plan with them. Entrepreneurs are often extremely optimistic with their marketing strategies and can overlook the basics (do you require marketing in more cities over time? Or marketing more products as you increase your range?). Your marketing strategy should be a step by step guide for the success of your company; therefore it makes sense to involve as many of your team as possible in its creation. I’ll talk briefly about three major things to consider in your strategy.
 
  1. The first step when making a marketing strategy is defining your customers. Create personas of who they are and what their buying habits include. Know the buyer’s journey and the steps they go through before they purchase your product or service. Are they in a particular age group, wealth demographic, or location? Remember, you can waste a lot of time and money if you don’t know who you are selling to; a little bit of market research early on can make a huge difference further down the line.
     
  2. The second key thing is based around your USP (Unique Selling Point). What is it that makes you different from your competitors? If you’re better value or more effective at doing something than everyone else in the marketplace then why wouldn’t you shout about it? Write these points down and be prepared to tell everyone! Hopefully you already have a competitor matrix – use it! It’s definitely a good idea at this point to look at what the competition are doing in some detail. 
     
  3. The third thing I want to talk about is something often overlooked in a strategy, but can tell you a massive amount of detail about the business at a glance. A SWOT analysis goes into four key areas, the Strengths of your business, the Weaknesses, the Opportunities and the Threats. Break these down into bullet points and really be honest about the weaknesses and threats. 
     
Now, onto the fun part! GET CREATIVE! Think about what advertising you’ve seen over the last week – what jumps out? You won’t remember 98% of what you’ve seen, so as a business, you need to work hard to make sure whatever you do is in the 2% that your clients do remember. We’ve worked with around a dozen clients so far in 2014 and every single one has resulted in a different campaign! ‘Interactivity’ and ‘mobile’ are the big buzzwords in the industry at the moment. If your advert can’t engage with the end user at a time that suits them, then you’re probably wasting money. Push the boundaries and think outside of the box. Throw crazy ideas around but, ultimately, keep the points I made earlier in your head. Remember who your customers are and make them take notice of what you want to say. 

More detail on creating a strategy can be found in multiple places online, or feel free to e-mail me with some questions – I’m more than happy to give advice. Happy marketing!
 

About Ian LeBruce (Founder of Cappuccino Ads)

 
Ian LeBruce is the founder and managing director of Cappuccino Ads, an Edinburgh based enterprise that prints your company's message on biodegradable, double-walled cups and gives them to independent coffee shops. While the customer is enjoying their coffee, they're also enjoying your message. This enterprise is environmentally friendly and small business friendly.

You can follow him on Twitter @CappuccinoAds.
 

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