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Every business needs a marketing system.

A marketing system is a complete view of the methods used in your business to move an individual through the various ‘getting to know you’ stages until they are ready to buy from you. The system needs to include processes for finding your prospects and then nurturing them into becoming customers, and then into raving fans, who are very happy to refer you to everyone they know.

One vital part of the marketing system is the ‘traffic’.

As human beings we spend our lives trying to get away from traffic. We might spend an entire year looking forward to the sanctuary of a summer holiday and the chance to get away from the noise, dirt and stress of traffic.

As the marketeer of your business, you should be stuck like glue to areas of ‘high traffic’ and actively seeking out a decent source of traffic for your marketing messages. And, you should be aiming to put yourself ‘in’ the traffic as much as possible (just don’t tell Tufty).

As my wonderful first boss, Sir Ken Olisa, OBE (currently serving as HM Lord-Lieutenant, don’t you know!) taught me: “As long as you’ve got the right message, marketing is all about reach x frequency”. In other words: it’s a numbers game. Remember that you should be continually doing the maths by growing both the number of eyeballs seeing (or eardrums hearing) your content, and the number of times they see it.

When you create a marketing system for your business, be very clear on which source (or sources) of traffic you are going to use for your content. It’s no good creating a wonderful set of videos, or hosting a killer free thing, ideally suited to your dream client, on your site, if you don’t ever put it in front of the digital equivalent of a stream of cars, buses and bikes.

Now that we rely so heavily on digital marketing, the places to find this traffic for small businesses have grown out of all recognition. It’s easier than ever to find a source of highly-targeted eyeballs for your business. All the social media platforms provide great opportunities for measurable traffic sources so that you can easily figure out the exact impact that you are having. On some platforms, it’s definitely worthwhile supplementing the ‘organic’ traffic (i.e the people who find you naturally over time) with paid advertising so that you are proactively driving more eyeballs to your stuff.

But, the offline world still offers a whole raft of very effective options for finding traffic that is not reliant on the internet.

In the ‘real’ world you might consider:

  • Footfall – position your business on the path to a key destination for your audience. This is the Evening Standard approach. If you’ve got a shop, is it in the right place for your dream clients? If you don’t have a shop, but you do have flyers, perhaps you can pay to display them or hand them out in another location that is populated by your dream customers. For example, if you’ve worked out when you did your Dream Client Profile that your ideal client commutes to London by train, make darn sure you are advertising in the station or the free papers that are handed out on the train.
  • Print advertising – even though this option has fallen out of favour recently, it’s still a great approach for small businesses serving a local community. A cost-effective, well-worded advert in a local magazine might bring you all the traffic you need!
  • Local radio advertising – if your product or service is relevant for people who have the time to listen to the radio, it’s very effective.
  • Networking – if charming people face-to-face is easy for you, and you have enough time to dedicate to attending enough meetings and following up properly.
  • Speaking engagements – a highly efficient way to put yourself into the path of lots of people in a short amount of time. Just don’t underestimate how long it takes to organise speaking engagements and dream up the content. Remember that you must always devise a way to capture the attendees’ details while you are there.
  • A joint venture – perhaps you can rely on someone else as a natural referrer to your dream customers. Some purchases go together – such as the service of a removals company when you’ve just bought a house. It’s always worth examining the purchase of your product to see what else your dream clients are buying around the same time, and approaching whoever sells that thing to see if they’d like to work together on an event or a marketing campaign.

Take a look at how you are marketing your business and think about where your source of traffic is. If you are relying solely on social media to spread your message, perhaps it’s time to revisit the more traditional ‘off-line’ marketing techniques and add one of them into your mix.

We help our clients to figure this out when we create a ‘Where & How’ Marketing Strategy Plan. We might be able to do this for you too.

If you’d like to find out more book yourself a 30 minute ‘no-obligation’ discovery call to find out more.

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