Everyone finds their own way with selling the story of their business. We’ve all seen it done well and done badly – done well it can sky rocket and done badly can destroy reputations (and dreams).
There has to be a totally bespoke approach to what works for you and your business. Some need assistance with company culture, some with mentoring teams, some internal branding and some budgeting – your marketing approach depends on you.
Here are some approaches to your marketing that won’t benefit you or your teams (so do the opposite!).
Deciding on something ‘urgent’, that feels right and brief it to your marketing person within 10 minutes with no explanation.
Your marketing person/team is probably a creative type but will need some understanding of where you are coming from with your idea, what the objective is and clear identification of what is expected of them. They should also be strong enough to say if they don’t think it is suitable at this time and why – higher level marketers are often tactical but focussed on the bigger picture so they are clear about what the company is trying to achieve overall, if your bright idea is driven by something other than the vision, mission & values of the company, think first.
Build messaging to fit today not tomorrow, your messaging should be driven from your values.
It’s important not to appear reactive to competitor activity and then convey that to your clients – the proactive approach shows that you are thinking ahead, mindful of others but not threatened and that you are consistent in your communication.
Change tack weekly
Your strategy should feed your direction. If your strategy is done properly, there should be no question over where your company is heading and who is expected to go with it, when, how, why and by how much. Stay focussed on the plan/destination but be prepared to be flexible on the way.
No communication with the rest of the team
No-one has any idea what marketing is going out to your customers. You’ve created all this lovely marketing built from a robust strategy and you’ve scheduled all your social media and mailings from your communications plan BUT you haven’t told your staff. So all of this lovely story telling goes out to your target customers but your internal staff have no idea – this can lead to severe fractures in trust and damage reputation. If something is going to a customer, let the relevant internal staff know so they can deal with any queries with ease.
Forget to manage your budget, forget forecasts
Marketing can be one of those areas where we are a little more ‘fluffy’ with the numbers but it shouldn’t be. It should be the opposite as it directly affects your profitability and can boost your client return. Treat the marketing budget like any other, forecast, check and analyse every quarter.
Send out mailings without tracking or ROI assessment
You are wasting time creating great material that has no measure of return, you could be wasting money too, repeating the same material that isn’t bringing people into your business. Get tracking and analysing, a simple tool can make this so easy and be incredibly valuable.
Neglect your online presence
You can only get by on “that social media stuff does my head in” for so long. Like it or not, it’s here to stay and it changes daily so it’s best to get on board and up to speed now and I promise you, it’s not as time consuming or laborious as you may think. Your online presence must match your actual delivery of service to clients so match the two up – work out what you do well in-house and tell that story online.
Keep your head down and hope it all works out in the long run
This will get you by for a few years where your clients are coming in through referrals but you’ll likely hit a wall where you need to create some stable growth and have a bit more of a formal plan of where you are heading and how you want to get there. Start now and get the rewards now, get your sales and marketing strategy in place to watch the business grow further by additional means.
Don’t spend time on understanding your customer journey
You think you know what your customer goes through but are your teams aware? Do they know and understand the impact of being able to manage that journey through timely and relevant communication? It’s vital you work with them to get this clear so everyone understands the customers point of view and also that it is reflected in your website to convert interest into sales.
Ignore your basic values and USPS
You may think that everyone knows exactly what your company is built on and what it stands for but have you asked them? It’s common for these hearty values to get missed by new employees and therefore over time they get lost – it’s worth revisiting your core values and using these in all communications and language to your company at every opportunity.
The big one! Especially in ‘family grown’ companies, where everyone knows what everyone else is thinking (allegedly), this one can fall down. Communication is the life blood of any business and every effort to maintain and improve it should be made. Whether its regular staff meetings, internal newsletters, emails instead of face to face conversations or just general office goings on – communication tactics must be understood and observations made as to how to improve it overall all to improve productivity and morale.
So, there you have it, a few ways NOT to do your marketing. If you’d like advice on how to get your marketing strategy back on track (or even how to build one in the first place), get in touch www.gemmaangharad.com