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Why now is the time to invest in marketing

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As the new financial year kicks off, many businesses will already be looking to reassess where investment priorities should sit for the next 12 months. Half of business leaders working with GrowthAccelerator, consider there to be significant opportunity for growth for both their company and the sector it operates in during 2014 and three in four are feeling optimistic and empowered about growing their business.

With increasing economic confidence well-reported, two fifths of businesses with high growth potential are using 2014 to drive revenue growth by investing in marketing.

Whether thats focusing on branding, social media or customer loyalty, it seems that this is the year that many SMEs are looking at marketing as a trigger to fuel their growth.

However, for the remaining number of businesses who havent yet decided whether investing in marketing this year would be worth the financial commitment needed, there are a few advantages to consider.

Marketing finds your customers

With the right strategy and forethought, marketing can boost sales and increase profit margins whilst creating value for your current customers and also seeking out and attracting new customer bases.

Take the time to ensure your business product or service accurately meets the identified wants and needs of consumers through carrying out tailored market research.

By understanding the research results, you can effectively communicate the right, customised message, through a calculated approach, to a targeted and sometimes niche audience.

Marketing highlights competitive advantages

Strategic marketing can not only open your eyes to new potential clients but also help to identify how business practices can flex to retain and build on current customer relations.

Although business owners may be well versed in their business competitive landscape, marketing can pinpoint particular service lines and product offerings to use to the companys advantage. Collate and review the information to capitalise on gaps in the market your business could plug or simply differentiate yourself to stand out from the crowd and leverage USPs.

Marketing supports future plans

Investing in marketing is an ongoing commitment and, although a short burst can reap results, continued investment and ongoing data analysis can help position a business for its future.

Its important to regularly revisit how consumers and competitors are changing, and the speed at which theyre adapting, to ensure your business is delivering the right offering at the right time. By monitoring sector and customer demands, marketing can test how effective a current business plan or strategy is unfolding.

In addition, market research can help predict future demands and business landscapes to help boost your confidence for planning ahead and considering the products or services the business offers.

While some firms deem marketing to be an added extra to a business plan, using marketing to form a basis for the direction your business will take can identify your position in the market, help retain and attract new customers and also help drive future business priorities and growth.

Whether you have internal capabilities or would consider external support, marketing can make a significant impact to your business confidence, capabilities and growth potential.

Andrew Cross is a business coach at GrowthAccelerator

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