This is our follow up blog to Big Problems Solved: Be Better at Brand Awareness Strategy, click here to read.
What is working now…
The face of main-stream media is changing rapidly. We see the declining readership of yellow pages, directory and newspapers while iPods, DVR (TiVo) and the internet have made huge changes in the way viewers are getting information, not to mention the changes in customer’s habits of relying on smart phones! These are just a few of the obvious changes. So what does this mean for you, the business owner, the marketing manager or sales person? It means that to survive the new normal, it is going to require more intelligent planning and research, getting to know how customers buy, branding, and measuring the results of your marketing efforts. Overall, stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new until you find what works.
It means getting into the new game of marketing.
No longer can you just exist and they will come.
You need “smart marketing”, you need to generate more qualified leads, you need to take the time to understand new customers, you need to identify your goals as a company and highlight your competitive advantages over your competition. Developing an effective marketing strategy is essential to making sure you are saying what your customer wants to hear, using a medium they will mostly likely hear or see, in a way that you are able to measure results to determine better return on investment of your marketing dollars. Yes, you have to spend money to make more money in
De-Mystifying the Changes in Marketing
Increasing sales or market share has become too complicated and it doesn’t need to be, in my opinion anyway. Most of us are aware of these new and different ways to market our business. We are being told to focus on the new medium of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogging and/or stay with the traditional advertising mediums of directories, television and radio. All of these tactics swim around in our heads, especially every time our sales are down. In spite of all of the advice, we still do not know what we should be doing to increase our sales. Should we be using LinkedIn or Facebook? Should we use web advertising or direct mail? Should we just keep doing what we are doing
Is Success Random or is it Created?
A few years ago, I set out to get to the bottom of a simple question: “how can I increase my sales in this changing market?” The deeper I delved into the science of marketing and sales the simpler the picture became. I learned that in fact the new technology of digital marketing and gadgets know a lot less about what works for each individual business than I thought. What I found was there are a small number of important things we do know about marketing and sales. There are basically two important things you need to know about the link between marketing and business success, two facts that are not in dispute. All the experts in marketing agree on them and even more important the facts are solid enough that we can build an affordable but effective marketing strategy from them.
- Fact 1: Businesses that did not research customer changes, systemize and measure their marketing methods and change as the market changed have suffered sales losses, profit reductions, lack of cash, lay-offs, loss of market share and more bankruptcies than ever.
Virtually all of the bankruptcies and 90% of those that can’t obtain credit can be linked to the lack of quality leads and low sales. The argument over what should we be using; Twitter, Facebook, direct mail or traditional forms of advertising or what? The point is that, as
business owners we need to constantly market. This lack of
systemizing, marketing, measuring, and changing, for whatever
reason, is the problem.
- Fact 2: Businesses that kept using a marketing and selling system and changed strategies based on results; don’t suffer from losses in market share. Their marketing and sales systems run the gambit from Facebook, cold calling, signage, direct mail and traditional media. There are businesses located in very difficult markets that are thriving while others in these same areas, selling the same products and services are failing. What this suggests is that there is no ideal marketing or sales method but that every successful business has adapted to a wide range of marketing and selling methods that are measured and systemized until they work. There is an exciting, hopeful trend that flows from these two facts: businesses that systemize, measure and diversify marketing and sales, see dramatic improvements in cash flow, profit and employee motivation.
A marketing system is the documented process (steps) from the start to the end of your lead generation and selling process. The measurement of the system consists of the input and the output of the process. Your marketing system never stops, for any reason, because it is a critical requirement for every businesses future. If you get too many customers, you either change your capacity, or raise your price, but you never stop.
Marketing includes your products and services, location, pricing, and methods to reach and sell to your best potential customers.
If you want to improve results, you have to change some parts of the system and measure it again. The idea is to continue changing until you achieve the results you’re aiming for. The power of the measured systems approach is in its ability, over time, to discover what parts are working or not and create something new and better.
We want your opinion! What has been your best marketing strategy? What has been your biggest challenge? Help us to help others…please let us know in the comment section below. Questions? Click here to email us or call 989-791-2475 Ext. 13 and ask for Gary.
Find out “the big idea” in part 3 of our blog series: Big Problems Solved