How to Stop a Marketing Wipeout!
Generating new leads, driving new business opportunities is what marketing is all about, but it remains a mystery for most business owners. They spend a lot of money on campaigns or tactics and end up with nothing to show for it – often it’s a complete wipeout!
That’s not to say that marketing doesn’t work…clearly it does for a lot of companies. However if YOUR marketing isn’t working, it may be time to change up the way you approach the idea.
Think differently about your marketing
It’s time to shake things up in terms of how you think about your marketing. Instead of chasing after the latest tactic – consider thinking through these critical ideas first:
1. Strategy before tactics
As tempting as it is to just jump in with a new campaign or tactic of some sort, it’s a great idea to go back to basics and think through a few things before you commit to the next round of marketing efforts (and spend).
- What are you actually selling? What’s different about your solution? What makes it unique? What are the benefits and outcomes you deliver – that’s the message you need to focus on?
- Who are you selling to? Who is your BEST customer? Why? Why do they buy? Where do they hang out? You need to know your target market inside and out and figure out the right way to talk to them.
- How much are you selling for? When’s the last time you looked at your pricing? Are you making a reasonable profit per unit? Do you really know? How does your pricing match up to the competition? If it’s been a while, it’s time to adjust your pricing and make sure it works for you.
Along the same lines, it’s a good time to revisit your core values and your mission and vision for the business. What’s your reputation in the marketplace? What do you stand for? What is it about your company that people really enjoy (or hate) beyond the product or service? All of that makes up your brand and should factor into your marketing message.
To put that into perspective – people don’t go to Quik Trip regularly just because they need gas or convenience items. They go back because they have a great experience with the employees at a clean, well-kept store where everyone is friendly and it’s easy to get what they want.
Whatever tactics you end up using need to be an extension of your strategy and your brand, otherwise you’re just wasting time and money.
2. Be Consistent
Once you’ve got a strategic approach for how you want to market, it’s critical to be consistent with your messaging and with your tactics. There is a lot of noise in the marketplace these days and it’s almost impossible to make an impression with 1 or 2 messages (or even ½ dozen).
If you want to be heard and you want your message to get through, then you need to be in it for the long haul. Running an ad a couple of times or doing a search campaign for a month is a waste of money. Pick a handful of tactics that you are comfortable continuing for at least 6 to 12 months. At any given point in time you should have multiple tactics operating – some quick examples: Website…keep it updated and fresh at least monthly, blog – share new information at least every month…preferably every week, newsletter – send something out every single month (or maybe weekly), advertising – run ads for at least 6 months, networking – engage consistently and frequently with the right groups or people, events – do them on a regular basis that people can count on.
What ever you decide to do, commit to it and do it consistently.
3. Add Value
It’s a hard truth, but people don’t care about you or your product or service.
People care about how you can help them solve their problems.
If you want to cut through all of that noise and if you want to genuinely engage your best potential customers, then you need to lead off with value. How can you help those potential customers? Can you educate them on the industry or the challenges they’re facing? Can you help them take small steps towards a solution on their own? Can you give them a simple tool or app that will make their life easier?
Here are some great examples inspired by Jay Baer’s marketing book Youtility: 5 Examples To Help You Think About Marketing Differently
Effective marketing is never easy, but it is possible – you just might have to rethink your approach and try something new.
Are you frustrated with marketing? Any big ideas I missed here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach