My wife and I recently bred puppies and sold puppies. An incredible experience with lots of hard work, dedication and cleaning. When the puppies were ready to be sold, for some reason, we approached it with, “if we build it, they will come” mentality. It took much longer than we expected to sell any, despite the fact that they are cute, fun, purebred and the sire comes from a great bloodline.
Many business leaders approach their marketing with the same perspective: they’ve got a great product or service, and feel that simply because they exist, they are entitled to market share. Furthermore, they feel as that business cards, brochures or a website will do the trick for them.
For very few, it will, initially. But it is not sustainable.
For the rest of us, a haphazard marketing approach will NOT get our products and services sold. Sending out a bunch of postcards once in a blue moon does not constitute a marketing strategy. Nor does putting up a static website (a website that simply signifies that your company exists). Nor does random marketing.
What works well is a concert of planned activities, executed with some level of consistency toward achieving a specific objective, or a marketing strategy. Once you have a marketing strategy, you can develop a marketing plan.
A marketing strategy is going to be the overall objective or set of objectives you would like to achieve by a certain timeframe. It might be to increase revenues, increase brand recognition, launch a new product, raise money, promote an event, offer a new service or launch of a new business or business unit or a combination of any number of them. The marketing strategy should have some metrics (we want to reach 1,000,000) and a time period (over the next year) an objective (in order to build a strong name in the marketplace) and a vehicle (using the internet) in order to reach a certain goal (50,000 new clients).
It should be aligned with your business planning (what happens if 500,000 people call with questions? What if you actually get 50,000 orders?). It should not be so specific that you “lose sight of the forest because of the trees;” e.g., you would not include all of the details of how you are going to accomplish said strategy. That is where your marketing plan comes in.
Getting the marketing strategy “up and running” and keeping it going is essential to the long term sustainability of the company. There will be companies that will brag that “they’ve never done any marketing,” however, connecting with people, the pricing strategy, the products offered, the company positioning are all part of marketing. Letting people know about it, and staying in front of them is how you keep your business in business.
Get the word to the masses. Build an extraordinary business.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].