Are you building a Marketing Machine?

GearsAny small business owner who wants to grow their business and eventually free themselves up from the day to day grind is going to have to solve a few things.

You’re going to have to learn how to market your products and services effectively.  I’m differentiating marketing from sales as the activities and efforts that draw interested, qualified buyers to ask about your product or service.  Without marketing…the process of getting people to come to you, you have a major uphill battle when it comes to growing your business with strictly outbound sales efforts.

You also have to figure out how to systematize and automate all the major components of your business.  Ultimately it needs to run like a machine…you build the framework and all the components, set up the systems that other people can run (or are automated) and it continues to generate money (and grow) even without your daily input!  It’s the only way to scale your business.

One step in this direction is the combination of these two things – Marketing Automation…building a marketing machine…a system and automation that will help your marketing run (mostly) on it’s own.

Let me give you an example – at Aspire we’ve just started experimenting with some Marketing Automation and although there’s still a long way to go, it’s off to a good start..

Goal for Aspire’s Marketing Automation

Over time we’ve found that the most effective marketing approach for the Business Advisory services we offer is educating business owners with ideas on how they can grow their business.  In order for this educational approach to be effective, it has to be relevant to the right target audience, it has to be shared gradually over time and it ties into additional educational opportunities (i.e. workshops or other events).   So the goal for Marketing Automation for Aspire is to build automated tools that will help facilitate that educational process.

Obviously this blog is a great starting point, but business owners generally don’t have time to dig through a blog to find what they really need.  The answer?  Targeted, high value information and ideas that can be delivered to interested business owners on their terms…I’m generally not available late at night…and there are only so many hours in the day, so it has to be information that’s packaged on a convenient schedule for the entrepreneur.

How does it work?

That’s where the Marketing Automation step comes in – check out out the Sign Up form at the right side of the blog (and also on the main part of the website) for a free e-Book on ‘Leading Your Business To Success’.  This is a great set of information that will benefit any business owner who’s trying to grow their business, with a lot of practical tips and ideas and now that’s we’ve done the hard work of pulling the information together, we can get it to interested business owners in a totally automated fashion.

Some of those business owners will get a lot out of the information and that’s all they want or need – great!  We’re glad to have helped out.  Others will also get a lot out of the information but they’d like help on additional ideas or other issues – that’s great too!  We’d love to meet with them and see if there’s a fit to really help them accelerate what they’re doing.

In addition to the primary set of information – we’ve also created a series of simple Tips to help business owners build Focus, Clarity and Momentum.  Same idea from a marketing automation perspective, but may appeal more to those who are looking for some quick hits rather than big ideas.

In both cases, we are delivering valuable information over time in a way that’s convenient to the reader.  Also we are building up a list of people who have given us permission to talk to them about how to grow their business.  Adding value, starting a conversation and staying top of mind for when it makes sense to take action.  That’s what marketing automation is all about.

Are you automating any of your marketing approach?  What are you using and how are you doing it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts – please share them in the comments below.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

Photo above by ToniVC