Last week I went to see a local business run by people I used to work with in my Corporate days. We talked about all sorts of things and I suggested that a re-wording of their web-site could prove profitable. I also gave them details of a networking event that I have found to be worthwhile. The day before the event, I got an email to say that they would not attend as the web-site updates were incomplete and they felt they needed to point new contacts to the completed site. They missed a good event. And they missed out on a golden opportunity to follow up a couple of weeks later with a “have you seen our new web-site” communication.
Why Rant on This Point
It is really simple – you should never stop promoting and marketing your business. If you are open for business and you are confident in your ability to deliver value to your customers then you must Never Stop Marketing and Selling.
Procrastination- It is really easy to fall into the marketing procrastination trap. Then you tell yourself that you will start the new campaign when Something is complete. As soon as you accept that from yourself, you are procrastinating.
Arrogance – As soon as you start telling yourself (or allowing others to convince you) that everyone knows where you are and will automatically buy from your business, you are a victim of arrogance. Even if there are only two suppliers in the whole of your market (there is a recent local example), you still need to run marketing campaigns –they may be very different from businesses where there are hundreds of suppliers, you still need them.
Naivety – Many businesses simply fail to understand the power of creating awareness, generating sales leads and building a positive business reputation.
A lot depends on your market environment, the level of competition you face and the volume of transactions that you are seeking to influence. Your first step must always be to write down your marketing objectives. Areas to consider include:
Raising awareness of your business
Generating sales leads from people who are already planning to spend on one of your products or services
Stimulating demand for your category of products and services from people who might otherwise leave any buying decision until next year/ decade/ century
Making buyers aware of funding options for your services
For capital goods, working alongside a leasing company
If you sell to charities or community groups, promoting fund raising schemes
Bundling your offer with something else
Presenting your proposition to suspected customers with a view to switching their loyalty away from your competitors to your business.
Create a marketing plan to deliver your objectives. Make sure you fund activities that are in line with your objectives. If anything you are planning is completely unproven, make sure that your total commitment to spend is under your control – so that something that is just plain not working within a reasonable time can be stopped and replaced with another activity.
Test & Measure
Measure all marketing activities so that you know what works – and what does not work.
Be prepared to try experiments with some methods – and then stop them and move on if they do not work – or, best of all, scale them up if they work for your business.
It is absolutely crucial that any marketing activities you undertake are aligned with your sales team. There is nothing worse than generating leads that are not followed up. It also pays to make sure that everybody understands the lead qualification criteria and process properly so that all enquiries get a professional and consistent response.
This was a guest post by Paul Fileman of Results-Zone. Results-Zone bring extensive knowledge and experience gained in Blue Chip organisations to businesses like yours. They ensure that your business is fully exploiting a well thought through operating plan. They work alongside you and your team – as business results managers. They ensure that your team and your business are elevated to the results-zone. They bring you “hands-on” experience – similar to employing high quality management skills without the risk or costs in recruiting full time employees.Email This Post