What you need to win the Marketing Game?
Photo by Daexus
I haven’t been able to play golf in a while (kids and a relatively new business tends to squeeze out your free time). But I’ve played enough to recognize the one secret that all of the pros have that allows them to be great. Without this trait, all the talent, brilliance, training or money in the world won’t allow them to compete at the highest level.
Oddly enough, that same trait is a major key for success when it comes to marketing your business as well.
In golf you might be on the 1st tee and hit a 300 yard drive right down the middle, but if you chunk your approach shot (chunk is my technical term for a complete mis-hit that results in a 10 yard dribble up the fairway), it’s pretty unlikely that you are going to make par.
A consistent swing that gives you expected repeatable results is the only way to score really low.
In marketing, you might go to a networking event and make 5 great contacts that could really help your business, but if you wait 2 weeks before calling them back, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to set up very many meetings or convert them to new clients.
A consistent approach in marketing that gives you expected repeatable results is the best way to have a winning business.
Obviously the key in both of these examples is consistency. How can a consistent approach (or the lack of consistency) impact your business? Read on.
Consistency in Marketing Message.
It’s critical that people understand who you are and what you do – that’s why your pitch, your 30 second commercial is important. You need to grab attention, interest and curiosity to be effective.
However you also need to be consistent in that message from meeting to meeting. It doesn’t take much to confuse people and if they thought they understood what you do and then you switch it up on them, they’re most likely to just disengage rather than figure out what you’re doing.
It’s fine to try out new ways to explain what you do, just be aware that you’re doing it and try to refine it to a consistent message as quickly as you can.
Consistency in Marketing Strategies.
Marketing a small business is just as much an art as it is a science – unfortunately there’s no guaranteed strategy for marketing that will work for every business and every business owner all the time.
To be successful in marketing, you need to identify multiple strategies and apply them consistently over a reasonable period of time. As an example, if you have a professional services business of some sort, here are the types of things you could do as the baseline for your marketing efforts:
– Workshops or speaking engagements – 1 per month
– Direct mail and/or calls – 10 per week
– Blogging – 2 or 3 per week
– e-Newsletter – 1 per month
– Networking and strategic alliances – 2 meetings a week
– Adwords campaign – $50/month limit
– Articles – 2 per month
These can all be effective marketing strategies, but only if you execute them consistently. The worst thing you can do is to dabble sporadically, when you have time, across several different approaches.
As an example, a Blog or a newsletter that doesn’t get updated or published on a regular basis is actually worse than never having one at all – the lack of consistency sends the message that you don’t follow through well, even on your own priorities.
If you’re networking, you need to spend the time and effort, show up consistently to events that you’ve targeted and really get to know people over time. It may take several months for people to get comfortable with you, believe that you are going to stick around and that you’re somebody worth knowing. Only dropping by every blue moon when you get a chance will reinforce that you’re not worth the effort to network with.
Advertising that isn’t consistent is even worse – it’s ineffective and it’s expensive. I’m not talking about continuing an ad that isn’t working, I’m talking about developing a plan for the next 6 months and sticking to it before determining what works and what doesn’t.
Just like developing a consistent swing in golf is difficult, sticking to a marketing plan can also be very challenging – especially if it’s working and you start picking up new business. That’s the time to really bear down and do what you can to make it a habit – ultimately that marketing system is what will drive your future success.
How do you approach your marketing? Do you jump from idea to idea or do you follow a plan pretty closely? Share your thoughts here.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach