What Every Business Owner Should Know About Marketing
Marketing can be boiled down to a few simple ideas–but they are ideas that can be difficult to implement. Absorbing these ideas–implementing them on a consistent basis–will put you head and shoulders above your competition.
- You must be committed.Marketing your business is not a scatter-shot, haphazard effort. It must be well-developed, well-planned, and you must stick to it. According to Jay Conrad Levinson in Guerilla Marketing, “mediocre marketing with commitment works better than brilliant marketing without commitment.”
- You must be consistent. Maintain a consistent, regular, recognizable presence before the eyes of your prospects. Consistent message, graphic format, promotion schedule, and media. This consistency breeds familiarity, confidence, and sales.
- Your marketing program is an investment. Just like stocks, you have to put money in to get a return, and the return does not happen overnight. Do not make your marketing a nearsighted decision. Do not expect your sales to double because you put a marketing plan in place. See #1 above.
- Have patience that your plan will work. This ties in with commitment and consistency. Marketing plans can be improved, but you can expect some results if you simply follow through.
- Use diverse strategies to send your message. The more types of strategies you incorporate in your marketing campaign, the better. No single strategy works well alone.
- Follow up. Plain and simple. Continue to contact your prospects. Make your company, product, or service indispensable to the way they operate. Follow-up is Sales 101, but you might be surprised how many businesses fail to do it.
- The most profit is made after that first sale. By some estimates, selling to a new customer costs six times as much as selling to a returning customer, so it makes sense to never forget existing customers.
- Track the success of your marketing campaign. Find what is working and what is not, and track both for a reasonable period. Make sure you have measurable data.
- Focus on getting customers to let you in, rather than shoving your message down their throats. The most effective campaigns focus on getting the customer to opt in, so that you can then send your sales messages to a more receptive audience.
- Constantly strive to improve your marketing plan. Once you have a plan in place, don’t sit back; improve the plan at every opportunity. You can be sure that is what your competitor is doing.