Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ideas to Grow - 3 Simple Starting Points for Marketing

Well this is a most excellent question.

I really like the way that Jerry lays out the dilemma that I often find myself in .... and perhaps you do too.

But mostly I like the advice that he provides near the bottom of his article.

What he calls .... three simple starting points.

Why is Marketing so Tough for Small Business Owners

Feb 22, 2015
Two of our local Chambers of Commerce regularly survey members about the kind of business resource help they would most like from the Chamber. Over and over again, Social Media and Marketing lead the way as most popular topics desired. In my work with business owners, marketing is commonly an area where owners most want to see improvement. Most are confused by the options and choices available, as well as by the fact that many of the “old” marketing tactics aren’t working so well any more.
It seems as if marketing was simpler in the past. You printed a brochure, ran various newspaper or magazine ads, maybe invested in a billboard, or radio, or even television advertising. Yellow Page presence was a must. And for every one of these tactics, the advertising provider could take care of the creation and the content. Sure, there was a cost to it, as there is today, but it was relatively easy, and you spent as much as your budget would allow. If you had the money, you could go the extra step of employing an ad agency to manage your entire campaign, assuring a bit more consistency and coordination.
As with most things in our culture, the internet has changed everything. Formerly effective marketing tactics aren’t working as well. Free or inexpensive communication has opened up incredible ways for us to spread our messages. And although the potential for lower advertising costs is clear, the sheer number of options has made it much more difficult to decide upon the right mix of marketing tactics that will be most effective for your business. Especially when you have no track record with them.
In addition, many of the newer marketing tactics require no money, but substantial amounts of time. At least that is the perception. Sure, you can still hire people to manage your overall advertising campaign, but the importance of content has become so critical that it is difficult to find the right people who can deliver the message as well as the owner or manager of the business. I think that is what makes marketing so tough for small business owners. We are already short on time in our lives, and the thought of giving up even more time, even for a cause that should improve our businesses, is a big mental hurdle to overcome.
So how can we make the use of newer marketing tactics easier to learn and implement? There are probably thousands of ideas the experts offer to achieve that, but I’m only going to suggest three simple starting points:
  • Stop and remind yourself of the purpose of your marketing efforts. Like much in our lives, if we don’t know where we are going, how can we tell if we’re on the right course? Thinking about what you want your marketing efforts to achieve will make it easier to choose the best tools to accomplish your goals.
  • Change a little at a time. Don’t try to re-do your entire marketing structure. Pick the one thing you do that is least effective, and stop doing it. Then try adding a new tactic that seems to fit with your overall purpose.
  • Experiment. Try the new tactic. Learn how to use it. Seek advice from someone who is already successful with it. If it requires your time in order to implement it, be disciplined enough to stick with it long enough to become more efficient with it.
In this way, you change your marketing approach a little at a time. The new tactic becomes habit. It doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Taking it one step at a time can adjust your marketing campaign from mediocre to high-powered. When you look back at where you started, you’ll wonder what was holding you back in the first place.

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