At Archer Creative, we’ve seen it time and time again.
When times get tough, sales run slow and expenses remain stable, many equine businesses give marketing and advertising the axe.
Too often, marketing and advertising are the first thing to go when profits start dwindling when, in fact, they should be the last.
Unfortunately, marketing can’t always offer the instantaneous results that many equine business owners want to see.
The risk with this mindset – of seeing your marketing as a cost, not an asset – means you need to see fast-tracked results in order to justify spending money on marketing in the first place.
That’s not a good place to be for any equine business.
Why market at all?
When looking at your marketing budget, it’s important to distinguish between the two types of customers you’re trying to reach.
First, you’re increasing brand loyalty by encouraging repeat purchases from those who already know about you and, secondly, you’re introducing your equine business to others for what might be the very first time.
When you drop marketing and advertising from the top of your list of priorities, you are, in effect, losing out on doing business with the many prospects who don’t yet know about you.
That’s not good for business, no matter how you slice it.
Developing your plan
The truth is that marketing takes effort. A knee-jerk reaction to your marketing will not serve you well for the careful planning, timely execution and analysis of results that require patience and commitment over a period of time.
If you want to see a return on your marketing investment, you need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, and that means allowing yourself time to adequately plan and measure.
All good things start with a plan. In this case, it’s crucial that you sit down and plan out your marketing and advertising for at least the next six months. A 12 month plan is even better.
A plan keeps you on track, but also should be adaptable to your changing circumstances. Use it as a guide to keep your marketing top of mind and give you direction on your marketing activities.
Starting with something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, you can note important holidays, sale seasons, industry events, show seasons, your preferred advertising channels and their associated costs.
Reviewing your marketing
You should commit to reviewing your marketing plan every quarter as a minimum, if not every month. You should also involve other members of your team, so that everyone is on board with your marketing activities.
Marketing and sales go hand in hand. Whatever promises, promotions and guarantees you make in your advertising, these must be met and mirrored by your team in-house. Followthrough at the point of sale is crucial to marketing success.
Measure the success of every campaign. How many likes, shares and comments did that post garner on Facebook? How many impressions and clickthroughs did your banner advert receive that month?
Determine your goals and see if you achieved them. After all, without any goals in mind, it’s impossible to know if you’ve achieved the results that are important to your equine business.
By Sophie Barrington
Founder, Archer Creative
Do you have any questions about marketing your horse business? Call Sophie today on 1300 077 126 for a free no-obligation chat. Visit http://www.archercreative.net.au/ to find out more. To read more articles like this, subscribe to the Archer Creative newsletter here.