The conversation usually starts with an often overlooked fact – it does not matter what business you are in or how long you’ve been in business, you need some marketing strategy to ensure forward progress, growth and success. Initially, many of my most successful clients thought marketing was too expensive. When I would probe further why they felt that way, the responses were very diversified but they had a common theme. The common thread was each had a different perception of what marketing meant. For instance:
“Should I be in the Sunday edition of the Buffalo News?”
“We’re in every Yellow Page directory under a variety of headings, but no one says they saw us there.”
“I think if we could get a few segments on AM Buffalo our phones would ring.”
“I’d like to get just that one billboard on 33 West by Grider Street. How much do they run?”
“We did a marketing plan years ago, it’s in a binder here somewhere, would you like to see it if I can find it. It cost us a bundle.”
Marketing involves research, planning, testing, more planning, public relations, advertising, sales, promotions, adjustments, planning, responding, customer service and more. It is important to understand the complete picture and know that, for instance, sales or public relations are functions or components of marketing not interchangeable processes. Each is a critical part of the whole.
Understanding limited resources often impact how much a business can devote to marketing, it is more important to commit to some level of marketing and stay with it. All too often, I see businesses conduct an expensive leap in to a “blitz” effort. They spend critical money and wonder why the phones didn’t ring. I would rather see a company do regular amounts of something than the start-stop-start approach. I’m sure you’ve heard the observation in marketing when a company or passionate individual does the Ready-Shoot-Aim strategy. Haste really does make waste.
So, examine your marketing plans for 2011. If you know you could use some help, give us a call and become a success story! Happy New Year!
Success Stories, Inc.