When does my business need marketing?
The answer to that question is “all the time”.
I often notice that many small business owners treat marketing like something that can be turned on and off or as an expense not an investment. One indicator of this is that I get really busy in a down economy because businesses decide they probably should market to try and find new customers.
The good news is these businesses seek out help, looking for someone to guide them in their efforts so they achieve success. But for every one business that engages a true marketing expert, there are many that try to mix and match disparate marketing activities hoping their business will get busy again.
Unfortunately, hope is not a marketing strategy and that belief can be the demise of many small businesses.
Effective small business marketing is not an activity to be done only when things get quiet, but is a process that should be constantly and consistently happening in your business, making your business more visible to those looking for your products and services.
Benefits of continuous marketing:
- You build awareness and brand differentiation for your business by being visible to your prospects and clients;
- You establish a solid reputation for your business by marketing your expertise through articles and blogging;
- You distinguish your business from the “competition” by staying visible and promoting your expertise;
- You can evaluate your marketing efforts by the results you are seeing in your business. If they work, keep doing them; if they don’t work try something else.
Marketing takes time to take effect and when you shut something down, it is really hard to kick it back up. Plus stopping and starting marketing doesn’t give you enough data to know whether something is working or not. The key is to put a marketing effort in motion and let it run, evaluating the outcome and tweaking the campaign when need be. Starting and stopping marketing is guaranteed to give you less than stellar results.
Build marketing into your business strategy so that it becomes second nature and ensures your business stays visible to your clients. If you don’t feel you can do it yourself, find a reputable marketing agency to help. An investment in marketing your business can be small but the payoff can be substantial.
Why do I need a marketing plan?
Without a written marketing plan, your business is making decisions on the fly. This results in disjointed marketing efforts, wasting time and resources on activities that may or may not work for your business. When your plan is written down, you become more focused. Committing your goals, strategies and activities to a written document is the only way to avoid losing sight of what we want to achieve – turning our ideas into proven reality.
Is having a marketing system important to the success of my marketing activities?
If you want your marketing to be effective, you need to treat marketing as a process – a series of actions to achieve your particular marketing goal. But unless you create a marketing system, your marketing process could be inefficient and inconsistent, producing results that are less than you had hoped.
The key to implementing an effective marketing system is to ensure it aligns with your marketing plan and defines the steps you will take to implement a success inbound marketing funnel.
For more information on implementing a marketing system, read my blog post on Marketing System or Marketing Plan – Do You Need Both?