I think one of the things that annoys me to no end is when businesses market as a last resort, either out of desperation from competition, or as a quick jolt of electricity to their business when it is dying.
By now it should be beyond obvious why marketing is so important in today’s business environment. However, there are still businesses who choose to see it as a cost and not an investment.
1. Desperation from competition- things are going well, everyone knows your name and the locals come to you to satisfy their consumer wants and needs. There’s nothing special about your product or the service provided, but consumers are just content enough to purchase from you. Suddenly a bigger better product and business comes into your space, doing a lot more than you are, adding more value and suddenly you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to respond to the fierce competition. Even worse you try to throw money in TV, radio and newsprint ads thinking that will put you back at the top, even when you’re target market doesn’t even pay attention to these mediums
2. Quick jolt to prevent death- sales are slow, no one is buying or stopping at your store anymore, instead of taking a proactive approach to increasing sales, you decide to sit back and wait for things to get better. Finally it is evident that things are actually not getting better but worse, and as one final stand you throw out a few ads hoping that will keep the boat from sinking
If any of these sound like you then you’re in serious trouble. Why? Because today it’s not about the best product, but who consumers have a more intimate connection with i.e. your brand. While your living in the past with cassette players and vinyl records, we’re rocking I-pads and watching Youtube videos on our smartphones…get with it! How? Consistent and effective marketing.
Your marketing efforts don’t even have to be costly, and they don’t even have to be limited to Social Media. Your customers just need to hear from you regularly and potential customers just need to know you exist, and you should give them a reason why they should care that you exist…what is your value to them?
Develop the practice of having a yearly, documented marketing plan. As I said it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, just relevant to who you’re selling to.
1. Find out what they like, how they want to communicate with you and you with them. It may not be Facebook but rather e-mail, and there are free mail applications such as Mailchimp that allows you to execute beyond effective marketing campaigns…best part is it’s FREE.
2. Develop referral programs that gets current customers to get more customers for you then reward them for their efforts. Give something away to them free, and who doesn’t like free.
There are 3 important things to remember while doing these:
1. Find a way to capture and manage every piece of information of exisitng and potential customers
2. Have a schedule of when you will execute marketing campaigns for the year and stick to it (remember not money but time will make your marketing successful)
3. Find out what resonates with them, what mediums they respond the most to (Facebook, email, text message etc.) and use those mediums to consistently communicate what resonates
We live in a world where the playing field has been leveled in favour of the little guy, don’t waste it by ignoring the universal truth “Marketing makes businesses successful”.
Here’s a great article that supports my point perfectly: Attention Small Businesses: You’re ALL In The Marketing Business
Leave a comment below and let me know:
1. What would you say to businesses who do not market
2. What would you suggest to them
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