Ask the expert – Keystone feature in the Chamber of Commerce Magazine

Recently Keystone’s Managing Director Hayley Williams was featured in Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce monthly publication; Connected Magazine. As members of the Chamber, the team at Keystone see a real value in being part of this membership body with the numerous networking and training opportunities provided all year round.

Hayley was invited to be this months ‘Ask the expert’  highlighting her fabulous Marketing expertise to members of the Chamber. In Hayley’s article she shared the challenges business owners face in marketing their businesses, without the time or expertise to do so.

All businesses need to raise their profile and increase interest from target audiences – but is it only big businesses that can benefit from expert marketing activity?  

Organisations in Cambridgeshire are lucky enough to work in a vibrant business community that continues to grow; more and more businesses are starting up and successfully operating on the small end of the SME spectrum too. These organisations don’t have a requirement or budget for a full time marketing resource or team, nor the time to do the marketing…but they do have a need. Often, a business starts because a person has a skill or a passion in a certain area. They usually aren’t marketers but are pressured to become one to clearly articulate their business, promote it and engage with all audiences.

With a huge increase in collaborative working, businesses now outsource key operational functions like accounting and admin with specialists that can help them – and it’s exactly the same with us here at Keystone Marketing, as an outsourced marketing support service. Since 2013, we’ve been helping ambitious organisations develop and implement specialist marketing activity; acting as their in-house marketing specialists – but from an outsourced perspective.

Regardless of your sector or size, what’s our number one marketing tip for your business today?

When people think marketing, they immediately think of the channels and the visuals, but the number one thing to remember is that it’s a key business framework that requires planning, consideration and consistency. Successful marketing doesn’t come from creating the end result of collateral on its own, but the development of a strategic plan that truly gets to the heart of understanding who your target audiences are, what value you can offer to them and identifying the very best methods to engage with them through dedicated communications over a sustained period of time. It’s important to make sure that marketing activity and results are qualified and trackable too – otherwise, how do you really know if it’s working?

What’s the best form of marketing for your business?

There’s no magic formula – but if you’ve done the thinking first and can show you’ve clearly thought about the bigger picture, results will come – but from where very much will depend on who you’re talking to and how and where you engage with them.  Direct communication and relationship building tend to reap the greater rewards – but…if those you are targeting don’t have the want/need/pain point right now, or in the immediate/short term, the impact can be reduced. That’s why continuing brand awareness is hugely important too, so you are in the forefront of that key contact’s mind as soon as they need your product or service.