There are thousands of marketing companies in America. They range from one-man bands, to small and mid tier agencies, right through to large multinationals.

For small businesses, it is very hard for many entrepreneurs or business managers to ascertain what is the best marketing solution for their business and what will help them get to the next level.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, it is paramount to understand our competitors and do the complete opposite to what they are doing.

Are your competitors nipping at your tail?
Many of Marketing Eye's competitors spend hours trawling our website and copying word for word, offer for offer. I take this as flattery, but I also understand that it is paramount that as a business we understand what our competitors are doing and how they are doing it.

In the small business market for instance;

Our competitors outsource

They outsource areas of marketing that are critical to a businesses marketing program. For instance, they may provide marketing consultancy services, but they outsource graphic design or website development. Therefore, time is money, and there is often a few conversations missed between each agency, ultimately affecting a clients success rate.

Marketing Eye has a no-outsourcing policy, whereby we manage an entire brand under the one roof. From strategy, through to the implementation of marketing activities, social media, search engine optimization, branding, web development, film production, multimedia - you name it, we do it completely inhouse and all of our team members are trained to talk to each other about client brands and share the brand story to ensure that it is represented consistently.

We innovate and then innovate some more

While it is important to look at your competitors, I leave this to someone else. Our internal researchers only tell me what is important, but I never want to know if they have a new offer or that they are doing something differently to what we are. Instead, I spend all of my energy and time in being an industry leader and innovator. There is no other marketing company that does everything inhouse, plus has their own media that includes a magazine, books, podcasts, online television and more. If you get stuck on what others are doing, you will not free your mind up to do the things that will set you apart from others.

Know your target market

Marketing Eye's target market is small businesses with a turnover of $500,000 to $200 million. That is where we offer the most value. This week, we have turned down more than a dozen prospective clients because they do not fill the bill. We want to ensure that our clients realise their dreams and that marketing underpins their sales and business efforts. You cannot be everything to everyone. It's important to understand your target market and what they need to be successful.

Quirky, is just that

Marketing Eye is the least quirky marketing company in America. We focus on being professional and providing our clients with a brand they can trust. We don't call ourselves "superwoman" or "superman" for that matter and anything alike. Quite simply, we provide businesses with a 'marketing eye' that is capable of making a difference to small businesses. Small businesses don't have alot of money to throw away and it is important for them to feel like a team of people are working with them that are qualified, focused on results and are professional start to finish.

Website is everything

The Marketing Eye website is everything. I can't say any more. It has more than 500 pages of content and it delivers to prospects information they need to pick up the phone and call us or send us an email. We don't pay for adwords, but we have built our website well and we believe wholeheartedly in SEO and social media. The website is a vehicle to connect with clients and for them to understand why we are different from our competitors and how we can help their businesses grow. When a small business is looking for a new website, they only have to look at the quality of ours and know that they too will have a website with as much 'love' and commitment to design and content as ours if they work with Marketing Eye.

Never lose yourself in how your competitors are using social media

Marketing Eye gets a client a week from Twitter and our blog. Full stop. We don't dedicate hours to Facebook and in fact, I rarely look at my facebook account. I get someone else to "like" my friends posts and I ensure that blogs that may be of interest to them are posted on my facebook account, but that is it. Twitter on the other hand is where we make our money and our true connections. Competitors however, invest in Facebook - which I believe is a waste of money and time for a serious business that is focused on a b2b market. Please prove me wrong, but you cannot be everything to everyone - and you have to work out where your time is best spent.

If you feel like you are losing market share, have some time out. Think about your brand, where it sits in the market and who your clients are today, not yesterday. Don't be discouraged by what others are doing, and make sure you understand what makes your clients determine that one company is better than another in providing the product or service you sell.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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