Five crucial tips for marketing

Five crucial tips for marketing

Chasing the latest marketing trends might not be the best way to curate growth for small companies. It will mean that you waste time and money. And even if “no size fits all”, there are a few basics to have in mind, says Mari Aldrige Øverland at Schibsted Ventures.

Five crucial tips for marketing

It’s not only fun things on Tik Tok

The first step is acknowledging that marketing is much more than just buying media and creating ads. Of course, that is a big part of it, but far from eve­ry­thing. Marketing is also about product (or service), price, placement (distribution) and promotion (sales today and sales tomorrow). It is not only the colouring-in department, that does some fun things on Tik Tok every once in a while.

It’s important to remember the whole bouquet of the marketing flower and not to jump the gun discussing tools x and channel y straight away! Marketing strategy is where you play and how you win. How to deliver on the chosen strategy and execute is what we call the tactics. First have clarity on who, what and when – and then you can start to think about the specific channels and tools.

Know what drives sales

It might not be important for customers that you are the cheapest, the most innovative, the smuggest challenger or even the greenest. What will yield the most growth is focusing on the key drivers that are important to many people. This might not be what you think. Understand and adapt to customers’ actual wants and needs, rather than differentiate from competitors just for the sake of it. Figure out the drivers and barriers in the category and learn what actually drives sales and how you and the players in the category score on the different drivers. In effect, this will help you find and choose a profitable position that will make you known for something customers want to buy and, most importantly, are willing to pay for.

Learn how to say no

Strategy is said to be what you don’t do. Smaller brands with smaller budgets must dare to say no, make extreme choices and prioritise. Make sure everyone is running in the same direction and that they are empowered to make decisions to get there fast.

Let’s be honest, there are loads of drawbacks as a small brand, but there are definitely some benefits to it too. The proximity to the customer, the creativity you can unravel and the short road to decisions make up some of its appeal. Your resources are so much more limited and precious than in the big companies, so use them wisely.

You be you

It’s easy when you enter a category to unconsciously be coloured (literally) by how the other players look and feel. Don’t, it’s a trap! Make, build and measure your distinct assets, such as colours, slogans, sounds, characteristics, music, graphic elements, etc. If something with your brand can be attributed to another player in the market, then it will be completely useless to spend time or energy on it. Ask yourself if this element can be attributed to your brand or to no brand at all. If so, then this is a good space to continue to build or start building a new asset.

Make sure it is easy for existing and potential customers to find, think and buy your brand once they enter the category. Stand out and make sure you are not driving sales for your competitors. This will make your marketing efforts more cost-effective, which is key when budgets are limited.

Both long and short

We’ve all heard the 60/40-rule indicating that one should use 60% on long-term brand building and 40% on short-term sales activation. This is impossible to copy paste for most start-ups, as it will take years to get back. There’s good research backing the idea that the equation should be almost reversed for smaller brands: 35% on long-term and 65 % on short-term.

This might not be right for everyone, so rather ask yourself “how much can I carve out of my budget, with a good degree of certainty, to use on long-term brand building?”. Go with that and start the brand building process, and then gradually bump this up. Just make sure you are hitting enough revenue targets to stay in business along the way.

There are no quick and easy short-cuts but if you can get these things (and other basics such as market research, segmentation, targeting, objectives, product, price, tactics and distribution) right, you have helped set up your brand for success. And remember, always do the strategy before the tactics.

Author Mari A Overland

Mari A Øverland
Marketing Manager Schibsted Ventures
Years in Schibsted: 0.5