Making decisions – good decisions, is the essence of a well-run business. If you study businesses that have failed, you’ll observe the end began with a very bad decision. Wrong market. Wrong product. Underfunded growth attempt. And the most prevalent; lack of marketing
The decisions related to marketing; creating a system that attracts and converts prospects into customers, are the most critical to business success and may be the hardest decisions to make. One reason these decisions are so difficult is that business owners can become overwhelmed by the many alternatives and ways to market.
“A marketing strategy will increase confidence and clarity and allow you to avoid incorrectly subscribing to the various marketing tactics you encounter every day.”
I recently attended a networking event where approximately 40 people were in attendance. The event included the typical “everyone take 30-seconds to introduce yourself” type of thing. About 20% – 25% of the participants were marketing related companies. They represented everything from promotional products, web site development and hosting, SEO experts, social media, email and text messaging, and direct mail. Most had the same pitch; “we help you market and grow your business.” Each person speaking steadfastly believes their approach and product are the best for growing a business.
Selecting one, or many, of these alternatives is a tough call to make. Some business owners are so overwhelmed by the many tactical choices that they either (a) do nothing or (b) employ the most widely used and most expensive method of honing their marketing; the trial and error method. You probably know this method by another name “Let’s Try,” as in “let’s try this for a while. OK, that didn’t work, so let’s try that.” If you are on a limited budget (and who isn’t) this becomes one of those very bad decisions. By using the trial-and-error method most businesses eventually run out of budget and are unhappy with their marketing results. Trial and error is not the way to build your marketing system.
How can you increase the probability of making good decisions when faced with so many alternatives?
Develop and implement a marketing strategy before you start selecting the tactics. When you get the strategy right first almost every marketing tactic will be right. If you don’t’ have a strategy it doesn’t matter which tactic you choose, the chance of success will be very low.
How does a marketing strategy help?
With a well thought out strategy, the business owner is confident of the messages that will connect with their ideal customers and what channels and relationships will best generate leads. They also can design and better execute the sales process to convert prospects into customers. Your marketing strategy identifies three things:
- Why your business does what it does? (Your purpose)
- What truly distinguishes your business from the others in your market that claim to have the same product or service? (Your difference)
- Who values your purpose and your difference? (Your ideal customer)
Having a marketing strategy will increase confidence and clarity and allow you to avoid incorrectly subscribing to the various marketing tactics you encounter every day. By eliminating the “noise”, you have a much better chance of making the right decision versus a series of wrong ones.
Interested in building your marketing system without an expensive trial and error approach? Valens Point’s Marketing Catalyst service allows you to take a step by step approach to building your strategy. Learn more.Image credit: imagerymajestic