Home Business Coaching Everyone’s focused on Marketing!

Everyone’s focused on Marketing!

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As I speak with owners for the first time, or even some I’ve known for years, the focus is the same:  ‘I need more customers!’  Said another way:  ‘My biggest need is better marketing’.   The answer to how to grow a business is always ‘marketing’, right?  No, it’s not.  OK, for young businesses, sure.  There must be a focus on reaching the target market, creating interest, and converting them into customers.  However, for ongoing businesses, marketing happens to be the most expensive of 5 ways to grow profits.  So I tend to coach in other areas first and capture more money prior to cranking up the marketing.  After all, it makes no sense to add more water into a leaking bucket!

Since it’s such a common topic, let’s dive a little deeper.  There are 3 general categories for marketing I use:  Social, Direct, and Online.  It’s important to have an understanding of each and generally 2 to 3 active strategies within each. 

Social Marketing

As you can imagine, social marketing has to do with being around others, interacting personally. 

  • One of the most effective strategies is building Strategic Alliances, other individuals that share your target market but are not competition. For example, a plumber, electrician, and HVAC technician would share the target market of residential homeowners and can easily refer to one another. 
  • Networking groups such as BRG within the Chamber, or BNI offer great opportunities to meet and speak with like-minded professionals, and to build referral relationships. There are plenty around, and it’s very important to focus on one or two and build strong relationships.  Too much networking leads to shallow relationships, resulting in a waste of time and energy. 
  • One of my favorites is Trade Shows or Special Events, like the MSI Chamber Of Commerce Community & Business Expo  that often happens in October. And we enjoy the Annual Race City Festival in downtown Mooresville!  Events like these bring large groups of people with similar interests together.  Find one that brings your target market together and be there!


Direct Marketing

Here I’m talking about getting your message directly in front of your target market, whether by print, digital, verbal, sky-writing, whatever. 

  • Direct mail (letter, postcard, other) using targeted addresses or EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail), or Money Mailer/Clipper/Val-Pak/etc. get your marketing directly in the hands of your prospect.
  • Advertising in specific trade magazines, neighborhood publications, etc. are directly hitting the target market, as well.
  • One of my personal favorites is seminars catering to a specific audience. Much like a tradeshow caters to a target market with other vendors and competitors present, seminars are more focused on delivering a particular message to your specific target. This positions you as an authority on the subject matter, and If done well, there will be a desire by the prospect to follow up for more information or solutions.


Online Marketing

This tends to be a long term strategy of building content, adding value, and creating a relationship with the prospect online.

  • Strategies such as podcasts, videos, and blogs would fall into this category.
  • Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc. provide plenty of opportunities to share offers, specials, new products or services, testimonials and reviews.
  • SEO and SEM are great marketing strategies to get people to your website. Of course, everyone should have an engaging and compelling website.  But the website is actually a sales conversion tool.  If they are landing on your site, they’ve likely decided they’re going to buy.  The question is ‘why should they buy from you?’  That’s a sales function. (Marketing gets them there, sales turns them into customers.)


Realistically, a business may have one person (often the owner) running all of the marketing plans early on. However, these require significantly different skill sets and behavioral preferences.  As you can imagine, a person particularly strong and passionate about online marketing is not naturally wired to enjoy attending networking events, making cold calls, and speaking with strangers.  Ultimately, these 3 types of marketing require 3 different individuals running them.  Fortunately, none require a full time person within the small business.  There are plenty of resources available on a part time basis to take your marketing and lead generation through the roof! 

Hundreds more strategies are available to attract more prospects to your business.  It’s up to you to slow down and evaluate all the possibilities.  And in consideration of the marketing investment (all investments should provide an ROI, and marketing is no different), select strategies that make sense for the business, for the owner, and for the timing in the market.  Focus on just a few Social, a few Direct, and a few Online strategies, and test and measure the results.   What you say in the marketing will have to wait for another time.  But once a strategy is up and running and producing great leads consistently, add another one.  But it all starts with a well thought out Marketing Plan.  Don’t have one?  Well, who are you going to ask to help with that?

 

David Dowdy
daviddowdy@actioncoach.com

As a certified Business Coach, business owners enroll in a program that we select together,  and agree will provide the best structure, discipline, accountability, and profit growth for them and for their businesses.

About

I have a passion for helping businesses like yours grow and become profitable, so you, the business owner can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve. As your Business Coach and adviser, I will help you deliver the results you desire using proven tools, methodologies and systems, tested and perfected over tens of thousands of businesses worldwide for over more than two decades. I will hold you accountable for your results and just like a sports coach, push you to perform at higher levels than you’re able to reach when left to your own devices.