"Marketing strategy, marketing strategy, why do I need that?" seems to be the thought of many a small business owner.
And you can see why they think that.
They have a limited budget and they say things like,
"it's important thing to get leaflets and brochures designed, written and printed"
or "we must have our web site set-up professionally"
or "we need offices set-up so we can meet our customers"
All of which costs money leaving very little to invest in other forms of marketing. Some of which could actually be more cost effective for them.
And yet why are they in business?
The aim of any business is to get initial sales and back-end sales and to trade profitably enough so that the business is not just your job.
"We're Trying Marketing"
I'm beginning to lose count of the number of business people who say they're "trying" this, that or the other marketing tactic before they "try" another one.
As an entrepreneur you always want to be moving forward and sometimes simply trying a marketing tactic may be a good move.
However, it's better to work out your marketing strategy first so that you can check whether your tactics fit your strategy and if the tactics you're using are working as planned.
Marketing Is Like A Plane Journey
Spending money on marketing without having a real strategy is like going to your nearest airport and jumping on the very next flight in the happy expectation that it's going to arrive at your planned destination. You're more likely to end up where you don't want to be.
Hopping onto a marketing tactic like cold calling, PR or blogging is not as powerful as working out beforehand how to integrate all your marketing tactics so they work together.
Lets Create A Marketing Campaign
I'm not too keen on the phrase "Marketing Campaign" because it has all the hallmarks of a temporary sticking plaster to cover over the gaping wound of too few sales.
Marketing needs to be strategic to be at its most effective. As an example you may decide that you want to offer your customers a report called "The 5 Best Ways To Recruit IT Superstars" as a tactic you could offer it when you create your web site.
Thinking strategically you could be aiming to position yourself as the expert in IT recruitment. In which case you might want to offer a number of related reports and offer them through different channels: PR, direct response email, direct mail, joint ventures and not just from your web site.
Build A Strategy
Take a pen and paper and think of some ambitions you have for you and your company. For example:
- To be the best widget maker in the country
- To be the best widget maker in the world
- To be seen as the widget making expert
- To be asked to present widget making seminars
- To mix with the greatest widget makers
Get yourself with a good marketing expert and come up with a thought through marketing strategy that links back to your ambitions and goals.
Then you'll be able to check you're going to the right place - to meet your ambitions.
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