There are a LOT of definitions of marketing out there.
I agree with a lot of them, but here’s mine: Marketing is getting the right MESSAGES, through the right MEDIUMS, reaching the right MASSES so you can make MONEY.
All too often, I get phone calls from women entrepreneurs across the country saying, “My marketing efforts aren’t working.”
As I dig deeper, it’s not that the efforts aren’t working it’s that they either: They don’t have enough lead generation activities going at once, and as a result the pipeline is only dripping business instead of pouring business or B. They aren’t giving marketing the time, routines and systems needed to do an adequate job. As long as your marketing efforts are a “To Do List” item instead of a regular routine on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, you won’t see the sustainable results you desire.
Here are my suggestions for regular marketing routines:
– Strategic social media posts (If you need more support with social media, I suggest you watch this video about Focus and Connection in your social media efforts.)
– Relationship building – Though marketing is about mass exposure, building relationships is key for small business relationships. I have “to do’s” to send thank you cards, make calls (actually picking up the phone, not just email, text or facebook) to check in, etc. We’ve all heard the phrase, “People do business with who they know, like and trust.” That happens in one-on-one connections.
– Content creation and posting on your blog or site (at least weekly!)
– Networking meetings – EVERY industry can benefit from personal connections and relationships. I’m a big fan of my BNI group for Doodads, my promotional products company. Other people see success with the local chamber, NAWBO and other association meetings. Make them part of your marketing plan.
– Sales connections/calls – Do you have routines around your cold and warm calls? Generally speaking for every 50 calls you make you’ll have 10 conversations and make 3 appointments. It’s a numbers game. What routines do you need to create (or have your team create) for your outbound one-to-one marketing efforts?
– Exposure through Pay Per Click Search Engine and Social Media ads, where appropriate for your business. A lot of these track on a weekly basis.
– Exposure through 3rd parties. Most advertising contracts through publications and sites are for monthly contracts.
– Evaluation of the month’s activities – This is a key part of marketing. Ask yourself, “What worked? What didn’t?” for every marketing activity you do. What mediums are working best for you? How do you track it? What MESSAGES are working best for you? Pay careful attention that you could be using the right medium, but the messages are wrong and vice versa. Test messages by using different approaches to see what gets the best results. Social media is great for this. What tweets are retweeted the most? What Facebook posts are being shared the most? How can you duplicate those in the coming months without saying the same thing?
I feel so strongly about this little marketing success strategy and I’m surprised how few people are actually doing it. Do you know your marketing objectives for the year? Are you trying to grow your email list, increase the page views on your website, IN ADDITION to your sales goals?
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Marketing is no exception. Create a marketing funnel.
If you don’t have one, or if this sounds foreign to you, check out this video.
Hopefully these ideas get you thinking about marketing in terms of routines and systems that are ongoing and keep your pipeline full. I would love to hear the routines you have in place in your marketing plan.
Share your thoughts and ideas for marketing systems below.
Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on May 21, 2013