As business owners and managers in an ever evolving world, our jobs become more challenging every day – every hour – to cut through clutter and make consumers notice our message.
How many times do we find ourselves repeating what we say to co-workers to get a message across? For most of us, this isn’t a reflection of how we’re gauged as professionals or individuals but 95% attributable to the ‘151 rule’.
They say a person needs to hear new information at least three times before it registers into his/her mind for immediate recollection. This has been taught over and over again to us and you can test it by saying aloud a new name you come across three times consciously.
When you target a market with a specific message the same rule applies, all except your target isn’t one person and those three times won’t cut it. It’s all about repetition. You have no control over which people are listening at what time of the day - so the logical bet is to be accessible and available 24/7/365.
Yesterday, I put in a phone call to Bond Street 180 business turnaround guru Daryl Wright and asked what he considered to be the most important things for small business owners to consider ahead of 2013. Here is what he had to say.
Businesses that do not engage in a strategic marketing plan, often find that they are chasing their tail. They fly by the seat of their pants and have no real sales and marketing strategy in place. Instead of being proactive, and placing key performance indicators behind each and every marketing investment, they generally go with 'gut instinct' or what is available at any given time.
While being flexible to invest in marketing opportunities is always a good thing, it can be some small businesses biggest downfall.
It's nearing the end of the financial year or mid-year for those in the US, and its time to start looking back at what you have achieved in terms of building your brand, creating brand equity, increasing your sales performance and improving your customer relationship management programs.
Capitalising on your investment in marketing is not only a no-brainer, but it is also one of the clevest business decisions you can make.
Start the new year with:
1. A marketing budget: big or small, by having a budget you will know what you have to spend and then be able to allocate it to areas that will give you the best 'bang for your buck'.
2. Develop a marketing strategy or marketing communications plan: There are literally hundreds of websites with free templates. If you don't have a marketing manager or marketing consultant on board, then give it a go yourself. Perhaps once you have written it, you can run it past a consultant for a couple of hours, to get feedback. A much cheaper way of ensuring that you are on the right track and giving you reassurance that you money will be well spent.
3. Marketing Tiimeline: Once you have a strategy, don't put it in your bottom drawer. Instead, develop a timeline of activities that is realistic to the resources you have access to. Make sure you tick off the items on the timeline you have completed each week and make yourself accountable by sharing your timeline with others in your office.
4. Engage in a good search engine optimisation specialist: Forget India (did I say that?). By ensuring that your website is search engine optimised, you will be guaranteed that your customers and prospects will be able to find you.
5. Invest in a website that has a content management system: If you don't have money, nor the inclination to get your web developer to update your website, then you need a content management system in place. This will allow you to make changes as and when you need to. By constantly updating your website, you will rank higher on search engines and people will find a reason to come back to your website time and time again.
Tomorrow I will share 5 more ways you can 'stop chasing your tail' when it comes to marketing.
In the dotcom boom, everyone who was not inventing an online business, were buying up shares so that they felt part of it. The problem was, that by the time the publicity hits and consumers are encouraged to buy shares, the fat cats in corporate finance and early investors have already made their dough.
I have a couple; personal and professional.
Having run a small business myself for 13 years, I can identify that at the end of the day, unless you have a business partner, it can be quite lonely.
Yesterday, was particularly stressful.The business is going so well, and clients are literally running through our doors. Although we have mechanism in place for growth, there are always things to do, that when you add it to your own daily jobs, becomes overwhelming - if you let it.
On top of running a business, we have an issue with a client who is happy with the service, but owes us $80,000. And this is just for invoices raised in the month of February. After, continually asking about when the invoices will be paid as we have a strict 7 day policy, they keep replying that it is coming in the next few days. That started 6 weeks ago. I am sure they will pay, but the situation is stressful nevertheless because after years of dealing with business owners who spin stories, the trust factor on such things has somewhat diminished.
To have success though, you need to have a reason. Every successful person has a reason as to why they want to be successful.
Marketing Eye has hit this point many times and each time we have done a situation analysis and made business decisions on where to go. Right now, we are in expansion mode with the US market firmly in our sights.
If you are in this position, think about what your Big Hairy Audacious Goal is and work out how realistic it is given your current resources and capabilities. Things to consider include;
Expand into new markets
It's a problem that many small business owners face time and time again. I am no different.
Unfortunately, this would be wishful thinking.
QR Codes are here to stay and in 2012 small businesses will find everything from advertisements through to resumes featuring QR Codes alongside brand names sending consumers and customers to websites, video, advertisements, catalogues, contact information, product suggestions and so on.
Only limited by your imagination or that of your creative departments, it is imperative that marketers don't fall prey to this form of marketing without carefully considering their target audience.