It’s a great day to start taking action! In my last post I talked about the importance of having a solid marketing plan. This is a critical part of your growth strategy and it should not be taken lightly. However, the most important part of your growth strategy is being able to effectively EXECUTE on your plan. This is really difficult when you are a small business and may not have a senior level marketing professional on your staff. Marketing is an art not a science. What does that mean? That means that unless you try different marketing tactics in the real world, with potential real customers, you will not have an optimized marketing strategy.
I hear a lot of businesses say that marketing does not work because they do not know how to implement and take action on their marketing strategies. You have to iterate and tweak as you go. If possible do A/B testing on websites and on copy. I have never met a business owner that did not have the best intentions when it came to marketing their product/service. I have also never met a business owner that did not think they knew how to market their product/service. Bottom line is, GOOD marketing is hard because it requires an completely different way of looking at the world. Many business owners are enamored by their products (or services) and who can blame them, otherwise they would not have created them. But they often forget when executing on their marketing plan, that the art of marketing is not about your product/service. Its about your CUSTOMERS and making their lives BETTER.
Your product may have the latest XYZ technology but if it makes your customers lives more complicated, guess what? Its not making their lives BETTER and they won’t buy period. A good marketing plan contains strategies and tactics to convey this. And it takes TIME to execute. Here are some tips to help you execute and save you time:
- Hire the young communicator: They are easy to find. They are on twitter and have large followings. They often engage in conversations with others and are trendsetters. Hire them as social media interns and if they work out hire them full time. Give them some guidelines but please let them engage in conversations freely. Otherwise you are wasting your money. Also, understand that social media is about awareness and conversations. Do not expect huge sales to come from here.
- Contract a senior level marketer: Often, small businesses have junior level marketers doing everything from newsletters to setting the marketing strategy. A senior level professional can help you and your team prioritize and recognize where there are gaps in your strategy that are hindering execution. Experience comes with a price but it is priceless when you are trying to grow your business. These individuals can be freelancers and can come in every few months to keep you and your staff on track and in optimal condition.
- Have a budget: Please don’t be cheap and think you can do everything using “guerilla marketing tactics”. You can do some of these and raise awareness but its not going to get you the big win. You are not going to go viral on tweets alone. You do need to hire experts to help you execute and you do need to do some ad words or other advertising campaign.
- Be persistent: Marketing is not a one off thing you do when the mood strikes you. To be effective you have to be able to consistently deliver on your brand promise. You have consistently blog, tweet, update and optimize the content of your site. Have regular marketing status meetings to keep everyone in check. Accountability is crucial to success and execution.
- TAKE ACTION!!! Do one marketing activity everyday. Make that your goal for 2012! ACTION! ACTION! ACTION!
Hope that helped!!
Please comment, I am on twitter @npersona email me at firstname.lastname@example.org