ECN Q&A: Marketing and Publicity

ECN Q&A: Marketing and Publicity

Question: When people talk about marketing/publicity, what does that mean to equestrian professionals? When does its use apply and how much (%) of one's operational budget should be set aside annually to fill that need?

Thank you for your question, in the simplest terms marketing / publicity is the process of letting people know what you do and the services you offer. For equestrian professionals marketing is all about letting people know how amazing you are and what you can offer them. It's about promoting yourself to the right people, at the right time, with the right message. Everyone from a livery yard owner wanting to fill another stable, right through to a company offering equestrian specific products will benefit from marketing. Firstly you will need to identify what your objectives are, what you want to achieve ? and then, very importantly work out who you want to reach, these rules are the foundation of every campaign. Think of it as matching your product or service to the right customer. It's also worth bearing in mind that the objective or conversion may not always be a sale, it maybe more LIKES on your facebook page, better interaction on twitter, increased awareness of your service, more visits to your website or signing up to your newsletter.

If you are starting to think about marketing your business or service put together a plan to create, fuel and support your message, a one hit story will rarely deliver the results you need. So think of a magazine advert, relevant pr story, supported by social media, followed up by an e-newsletter drop, with a well written blog story on your website etc etc and so your strategy builds. Then collect and analyse the data, this is how you will know what is working and what is generating the most desired results.

With regards to setting aside an annual budget , there are several trains of thought on this and how to set the right amount, based around your projected annual sales, gross turnover, % of sales etc, this fluctuates between 5-10% depending on the size of the company and the theory you are following. However our recommendation would be to let affordability guide you. Whether you are spending £5.00 a day on social media or multi media campaign costing thousands, every single penny should be spent with the ROI (return on investment) as the defining factor. How much you have spent or time invested V's the results gained. On whatever scale you operate, marketing / publicity for equestrian professionals is key to successful and sustainable growth.

Finally, don't be afraid to get creative and experiment a bit, we have a great advantage of working in a niche market, use what you know, demographics, experience and knowledge, language, you're an equestrian talking to equestrians which already makes you one step ahead of anyone without your experience.

All the best regards,
Claire at Creative Equine Marketing

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