N ot all entrepreneurs are natural marketeers. There are some stand-out exceptions like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Estée Lauder who each created visionary businesses and were all able to share them with the world through inventive and engaging communications. The rest of the business community has relied on employing the right people or agency support for help. In the not so distant past small businesses frequently turned to their local papers or a printing company to design and deliver their advertising. That was largely the extent of their marketing effort. As the world and its marketplace becomes increasingly digital, these analogue‘real world’channels are no longer the first port of call. Suddenly, everything is about branding, SEO and continuous social media chatter – the amount of effort needed to stay on top has ballooned and the responsibility for doing it is in your own hands, on your mobile phone. Success in business has never just been about offering the best product, service or value. There are countless examples of quality products beaten in the marketplace by inferior alternatives that have been marketed better. We can all probably think of a personal favourite restaurant, hair stylist or mechanic who struggles to get the recognition and sales they deserve. The reason why is often down to perceived reputations, presentation and giving customers sufficient motivation to change. These are challenges that can be tackled with inventive marketing. But a great chef is rarely a great communicator, graphic designer and copywriter too. Today’s entrepreneurs are expected to plan, write and deliver a stream of relationship- building communications, professionally put together and well written. This is more than just a knack and why some people find their professional home in media while others discover their strengths elsewhere. It’s hardly surprising that businesses Every business can now deliver its own marketing, but that’s just where the challenge begins by chris richmond Marketing Challenge SEO, SOCIAL MEDIA &YOUR THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE Back in 1964 when Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase‘The Medium is the Message’he was describing his belief that the technology (‘medium’) used to deliver an advertisement (or‘message’) was as relevant to the consumer as the content of the message itself. Like small children opening presents at Christmastime, frequently as entertained by the wrapping and the box as they are the gift inside, or even how different your coffee tastes in the wrong cup! Capitalising on the relationship your customers have with their preferred media can help shape more effective marketing. This has never been more relevant than now, with the increasingly personal relationship people have with their online social worlds. 18 THE RIVER MAGAZINE | Spring 2018