How do business owners approach marketing? Which of the 10 types are you?
Recently I have been reflecting on the types of business owners I like to work with and attempting to categorise some of their attitudes towards marketing in general.
The reason for doing this is because if we can identify some of our approaches to marketing in ourselves, we can change and adapt them for better outcomes longer term.
There is no one size fits all approach as every business is very different and the emotion behind every owner or Managing Director is very different too. Throw in company culture, macro economic factors and general individual staffing needs and it starts to get messy. However, we can easily clean it up by taking a strategic approach with clever tactics underneath that are well managed and well implemented so that the company grows with stability and the customer feels nurtured.
So here they are, which one do you identify with most?
The tick box guy
This type of marketer is the quick fix, get it done and let me feel like I am at least doing something kind of guy (or gal!). Generally quite reactive, especially to competitor activity and as long as everyone feels like they are doing some form of marketing i.e. posting on social media, everything is okay.
The tick box guy generally doesn’t review marketing outcomes or look at the marketing budget in relation to what has been delivered over time. Tick box marketing can work well when things need to move quickly but rarely delivers long-term growth and ultimately wastes time, resource and money.
The occasional communicator
This type of marketer can leave the customer feeling bereft and unloved. Every now and again you remember that you haven’t communicated to your database for a while so an email goes out which has been cobbled together, based on something that you think you should be saying. You post to social media every now and again and you have the odd brochure for your sales team that is a little bit dogeared but it doesn’t matter as you have a brochure, don’t you?
Occasional communication breeds distrust with the customer and doesn’t help to build your brand. Timing and relevance are very important to nurturing, growing and converting a database, as well as attracting new prospects. The right message but at the wrong time can be a total waste of money so it is important to get the right message to the right people at the right time using a strategic approach with clever tactics underneath.
The reactive “sales are down” stress head
We have all seen it. You haven’t heard from a company for a while but all of a sudden, because you switched your marketing off or you lost a member of the sales team, sales start to drop and everyone panics.
Then all of the resources go into marketing to try and fix the problem so you sponsor the local football team, instruct a new design team to do you some new brochures, you trawl through the messy database looking for quick wins and low hanging fruit and you generally start flapping about where the business is going to come from.
This is very common in business but again never really creates stability for the business, for budgeting and financial planning, for staff and most certainly for the customer. This approach can create confusion in company culture and can lead to high highs and low lows throughout the business.
The forward thinker
Yippee! This approach helps company culture and gives people insight into the business whilst allowing for planning of contingencies as well. This approach reduces risk overall and allows for predictions in business fluctuations. Forward thinking and strategic planning may sound boring but they are absolutely essential to stable business growth and customer trust and conversion.
You can’t hit a target you can’t see.
The consistent brand builder
Someone who looks at their brand as their own personal identity tends to build this based on passion and emotion, linked to purpose.
The story of the business and the purpose of why it exists drive the messaging and the feel of the brand overall. This means that every single aspect of sales, marketing and customer service are all linked back to the brand. This gives the customer trust and makes them feel safe which ultimately means that they will convert and purchase or use a service repeatedly.
The give back creativity queen
Some business owners are extremely creative and really think outside of the box to create something that stands out against their competitors. Creativity can help gain competitive advantage and thinking differently themselves, challenges the thinking of the customer which in turn creates a spark off intrigue.
This style of creative types are generally interested in giving back to others so doing something for the local community or just approaching things in a different way, with consistency overtime can give a beautiful stability to the business overall.
The one dimensional writer
This approach can create boredom over time for the customer. If for example, you write a blog in the same style on the same topic by the same person sometimes this can become boring. If you watch some of the biggest bloggers and vloggers online their content is often in the same structure but the premise of what they are talking about links in and hooks the customer. It is important to remember the customer perspective at all times when copywriting because your viewpoint doesn’t necessarily link into what your customers are going through. So, although your insights and thoughts are very interesting, the customer may not keep checking back in to see what you were up to if you cannot resonate with them with the content you are creating.
There are businesses that basically just replicate what a competitor is doing or what they know worked five years ago which can create and issue and a time delay over converting customers. The copycat generally lacks creativity or time to generate new and fresh content. It is important to make sure every now and again you allocate time to reset and reflect on business goings-on in order to maintain a clear and logical perspective which can then be seen by the customer through your sales and marketing.
The social media only kid
Like the tick box marketers, social media only marketers rely on one source and one medium of marketing. This is great in some aspects as of course social media posting, PPC and search engine optimisation are essential at getting your website and brand seen online. However, the activity around your brand is so much more than that hence the strategic marketing approach overtime that I know works so incredibly well and have proven, time and time again. Focusing solely on social media can limit your audiences and breadth of new prospects coming into the business, which can then force you to be a reactive marketer which again causes distrust and instability for the business over time.
The pay and pray
Over the years I have seen many business owners pay and pray for the best. This means they get a chunk of cash and just think that marketing is a ‘dark art’ and if we throw a few thousand pounds at it, everything will be okay. The problem with this is that you can suffer from magpie syndrome and pick the first thing that you think might work (ooooo shiny thing…).
This could be the latest flashy agency which promised the earth but ultimately will under deliver or some form of sponsorship which costs you thousands of pounds over the year but makes you feel like you are at least doing something.
I can’t express enough how much money you can actually save by taking the slow and steady approach to your business and the attitude you have towards your marketing feeds through very plainly to your customers, so it is absolutely key to make sure that whatever type of marketer you are you are speaking and communicating to your customers in the way you would with them face-to-face.
It’s a little bit like dating you have to put effort in and understand your individual customer/partner needs in order to get the result at the other end that you so desire.
If you identified with my observations above, get in touch I would love to know which one you are!