Much of the business world has lost the purpose of small business marketing strategies: Increasing Revenue. Amongst the big 5-dollar words and the intensification of speed rendered by modern technology, the business world forgot a few time-honored methods thoroughly covered in several marketing texts. And never has there been a greater need for its revival.
As a long-term student of marketing, I understand that much of the know-how and the techniques for marketing were discovered, documented and successfully practiced by the mid 1920’s. These marketing practices were to a large degree, based on science and thorough testing. If names like John Caples and Claude Hopkins don’t ring a bell, don’t worry. Most American business men, including top-flight CEO’s, would not be able to tell you that these were some of the pioneers in direct response marketing almost a century ago.
And these early pioneers had it right: Marketing is about increasing sales and profits. That’s it, nothing else.
If They Really Were An Expert, They Would Produce A Result
Those “experts” who talk about branding, but who cannot generate ROI, are hucksters. They are the purveyors of those fancy sounding 5-dollar words, all in an attempt to cover up the fact that they do not know how to produce a measurable and profitable result with small business marketing strategies.
And I’m here to blow the lid off their pretense. If they cannot generate more clientele and revenue, then they do not know or practice the most fundamental principles in marketing. You see, truth and insight are timeless. Even when technology emerges and changes our world, fundamental truth does not alter. A thousand years from now, the laws of gravity will be the same.
So while everyone was getting excited over social media, funny cat videos and how many clicks their website was getting, the bottom line is that we were all hoping that it would result in tangible results and a profitable business. And too many have been left disappointed.
Most SEO “gurus” are nervous right now. They are hoping you don’t notice the lackluster sales coming from their efforts. They are hoping that they can blame the newest updates from Google for all their failures. They are hoping you don’t ask questions and reveal the fact that they are, for the most part, selling voodoo.
It’s time you start asking them for hard answers and demanding tangible results. And small business marketing strategies based off of sound principles do produce profitable results.
Great Ideas Don’t Sell: Marketing Sells
The idea that your great idea or product will sell due to it’s inherit merits and value is why 50 t0 70% of businesses in America fail in the first 18 months. These business people get so sold on their own hype and importance, that they forget the most important element in business and marketing: The Customer!
That customer could care less about your bottom line, your problems or how awesome you are at what you do. Your education level, experience, how great your golf game is means absolutely nothing to them – really. They only care about themselves and not you, and that’s the way it is.
If you do not know what that potential customer truly wants, thinks, feels and demands, then you won’t hit the ball out of the park. And all those factors within your customer change rapidly and continually.
Marketing begins with RESEARCH. And without marketing research, you are going about you business blindfolded. And it this very omission of research is why so many American businesses are wasting enough marketing dollars to reduce the national debt. Small business marketing strategies begin at the doorstep of research.
Marketing Is Not An “Expense”
The biggest false idea that literally cripples more business people is that marketing is an “expense”. Many a CPA will argue my statement, pointing to ledgers and complicated textbooks from fancy universities to prove their point.
But I am not coming from an accounting perspective, but about a mind-set and strategy that leads to success. Did you ever hear of a major start-up or a new invention from a CPA? Business geniuses and marketing geniuses didn’t get an OK from a committee or a CPA before launching their idea to the world.
Marketing is the necessary and vital business process of creating desire and moving products and/or services into the hands of consumers. Manufacturing cannot achieve that all on its own. Accounting sure can’t achieve that, and nor do board meetings produce that very type of result. Only marketing can create desire and thus move massive amounts of product into the hands of eager buyers.
To pigeon hole marketing as an “expense”, is what opens the door for too many businesses to stop cold any and all small business marketing strategies that could move them forward and upward.
Unfortunately, too many business people tend to cut their marketing budget in a knee-jerk reaction when they encounter financial strain. Yet, cutting back on your marketing efforts is the last thing you should be doing. Intelligent promotion, effectively executed, is your best path out of financial stress. Research has proven conclusively, that those companies who increase marketing during hard times expand far in excess of their competitors when the economy eventually makes and upswing.
This is too easy to prove, and anyone can go to an shop empty of clientele, yet whose shelves are full with merchandise.
The key with small business marketing is to be proactive and consistent. Let me reiterate these two points again as this not idle advice. Being proactive is the opposite of worrying and blaming the economy or your competition. Lack of consistency is where 95% of small business marketing efforts fail.
“Worriers get ulcers. Marketers get clients.”
Marketing Must Be Part Of Your Budget
“A budget is a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time. It may include planned sales volumes and revenues, resource quantities, costs and expenses, assets, liabilities and cash flows. It expresses strategic plans of business units, organizations, activities or events in measurable terms.” – Wikipedia
Marketing is a vital and integral part of the planning for any business to become successful and highly profitable. When marketing is lowered in status to an “expense”, and thus cut, your business has diminished a vital part of its plan for continued success.
An Appeal To Common Sense
Is it just me, or did common sense become a rare commodity in today’s business world? Honestly, I am getting so tired of the excuses, the pointed fingers, internal politics and the complex business processes that end up giving one and all a run around – and no profits.
This blog post is an appeal to common sense to those who seek tangible results from their small business marketing strategies. Results and higher profits are what one should expect from any business process that is truly built on proven methods and a rich understanding of consumer behavior.
In The Need For An Effective Small Business Marketing Strategy?
If so, please contact me for a complimentary marketing analysis of your company or organization.