1 mistake that most small businesses owners make…is they do not market their businesses.
They think they market their business, but the reality is they really don’t. Instead they confuse the discipline of marketing with ‘sales’ or with the advertising tactics. They don’t realize that before one can be good at marketing or create an effective ad, there needs to be a marketing plan that helps to drive their business and their communications.
In simple terms, marketing is a process by which an audience is made aware, tempted and enticed to try a product or service. The critical word in that sentence is PROCESS. Marketing is a series of calculated actions that transforms a person into a customer. It is not a single newspaper ad, or a 10% off sale.
Without a marketing plan, offline or online marketing efforts are just a waste of time, money and resources yielding nothing to the bottom line. When this happens, owners and operators of small business become discouraged with marketing and start to think “it doesn’t work”. Well, they’re right. The way they do marketing doesn’t work.
Most small businesses want to increase their revenues and profits. Well, that doesn’t happen…
- by wishing it so
- by beating on your sales force until they are numb
- or by placing an ad twice a year and crossing your fingers hoping someone sees it
- or by offering a boring, uninspiring 20% off sale
So what does work? Marketing works when the business owner takes the time to think about specific goals they want to achieve in their business and develop a marketing plan and strategies to accomplish those goals. Think of it as a Marketing Map for your business.
- Want to increase sales by 10%, 20%? For which products and by what date?
- Which tools do you need to employ to generate X% more in sales?
- Will your current customers buy more?
- Which of your customers are most likely to purchase more?
- Will you need to expand your customer base?
- How will you create new customers?
- Will you need to pull customers away from your competitors? If so, what do you offer your competitors don’t?
- Which offline or online media will be best at creating an additional X% in sales?
- How will you measure and track your results so you can capitalize on what is working and throw out what is not working?
The answers to these questions are at the heart of effective and successful marketing. If one doesn’t or isn’t able to answer the above questions, marketing simply doesn’t happen. Your business continues to struggle and nothing much changes.
Given this is the beginning of a new year, it seems appropriate to start at the beginning of marketing by presenting the simplified outline of a marketing plan. Over the next couple of weeks, I will cover each of these marketing issues in more depth and will provide the marketing tools necessary to help you create effective marketing for your business.
Let me know in the comments section below of specific marketing problems you are having with your business that you would like for me to address.