Rick Meekins is the Managing Partner at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy, an Atlanta, GA based small business consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations.
Buckshot Marketing: What's REALLY Working?
Is your marketing really working? How do you know? Are those pens you are handing out really making an impression? Is the time you spend on Twitter and other social medias paying off? Are your endless networking meetings paying off?
How do you know?
This has been one of the challenges put before business owners and marketers, given that there are so many factors that contribute to marketing, and so many different effects different types of contacts have on different audiences. This is another reason why, in order to get the most out of your marketing dollars, it is difficult to justify taking a broad stroke approach to marketing, thinking that everyone in your target market is going to accept the same sort of input.
What’s been interesting was a quick study I did with a number of marketers that I have associations with. I created an elevator pitch that I thought provoked imagery, thought, questions and provided solutions. For the sake of the article, I am including it here:
We help business leaders create extraordinary futures for their businesses.
Aepiphanni provides strategic planning, business architecture and a wealth of resources to help businesses reaching critical growth phases cut costs, work more efficiently and reach aggressive revenue goals. We specialize in small and medium-sized privately owned companies focused on professional & creative services, Software & IT, Restaurants & Catering and Design Services.
We’ve helped clients increase their billing by up to 3000%. One of our clients in the film production industry was able to triple his billing rates, scoring a Public Service Announcement for $16,000, where he originally intended to bill for no more than $5,000. Another client of ours repositioned their company to move from selling individual services to creating long term paid relationships with their clients. Her highest billing for any client had been $2,000, where their last proposal was for $50,000. Additionally, they have needed to increase staff and create systems and processes, which allowed them to increase the company’s workload and thus increase revenues by 25%, despite the economy.
It’s not complicated; it’s about doing what makes sense. We equip business leaders with the tools to build extraordinary futures for their businesses. Trust our knowledge. Trust our Experience. Trust our Results.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting. The Business Strategy People.
To me, this is appealing. In my mind, this was flawless. True to the nature of different types of people, every marketing expert I shared this with had different thoughts on it as will you. One thought the first sentence was too intangible, where another one thought it was great. In my mind, it opened up to the question, �how do you do that?� which was answered in the second question. Others thought that it should stop after the third paragraph, where others, still, thought the fourth paragraph was the hook. The elevator speech I created is, essentially, the laundry list of answers to the questions people ask me about what I do.
In the same manner, broad stroke marketing probably won�t be as effective as finding a way to measure the effectiveness of your marketing. How do you determine that? By determining what you would like to accomplish, first, then creating a strategy to get there.
You begin, of course, by defining what you hope to accomplish, as you would if you are thinking of doing anything. Let�s take fishing as an example.
Define the goal: We are going fishing. If you don�t know or state that you would like to go fishing, what are you going to prepare for? Are you just going to walk around doing stuff, never finding the satisfaction you are seeking?
Now that you�ve decided you want to go fishing, you might want to decide why you are going fishing � is it for fun, for sport, competition, or whatever. If you are just seeking to get out of the house, drop a pole in the water and not actually catch anything (objective � a bit a peace and quiet!), well, you�ll prepare differently then you would if you were seeking to go fishing for salmon.
So, say we are going fishing for a particular type of wild salmon. What do we need to know? Where are they, when are they there and what do you need to have in order to catch them? How many do you need to catch? Putting things in this perspective helps you not just look in terms of success (I caught a fish THIS BIG) but also have the tools in place to determine if you are successful.
Now, what are you going to do if you are unsuccessful? You will probably do something different � maybe change your bait, change your location, get a quieter motor, or whatever you think you need to do to get closer to the fish that are biting. You might even do some homework and read up on how other people are doing it successfully. You�ll separate the quacks (a little dynamite helps) from the experts (Use a .345 swish flip tied fly) to the practical (if you wait until spring, the Colorado River will be teaming with jumping salmon. You can catch them at Great Bear rock) and put together a strategy that will help YOU accomplish the goal YOU have.
Developing your marketing strategy will be nearly the same. While you might hope to throw out a net and see what you get, a targeted approach to your marketing is going to allow you to put more resources and efforts into a small niche audience. Where do they gather or get their information? How do they receive the information � is it in print, audio or video? What are their problems, or what are they looking for solutions to? Why would they respect your company? Does your company have the right appearance, appear in the right circles and demonstrate the right expertise?
From my observations, there is no one-size-fits-all-guaranteed-90-days-to-long-term success solution that works for everyone. Marketing needs to be authentic, transparent and appealing to those you are targeting. Of course, that is a no-brainer. What is REALLY working will take your company some time to develop. It will require some tweaking and some self assessment, but once you�ve got it down, you will see your work pay off.
Remember � if it was quick and easy, everyone would be doing it.
Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning. 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].