It's important to change up your marketing efforts and try new things...without throwing out the things that work.One of the hardest things to measure is the synergy that develops when you combine marketing mediums. It's the basis for integrated marketing communications (IMC) concepts but no one has really captured where the actual motivation occurs to get your customer to buy, call, whatever. To keep tweaking your marketing recipe you constantly have to look for new ways to get your message out there...here are a few ways to do that each month that won't take much time.
Marketing - as opposed to sales remember - is one of those proactive tasks that seems to get pushed aside for more urgent ones. An astute commenter in my last post mentioned you need to always be planting seeds for future business to grow. Just like your workouts if you put marketing time on your schedule each week and hold it sacred, you'll see the benefits very quickly. Here are some tips for finding the right time to work on your promotions, social media, advertising, whatever you consider 'marketing'.
How much time should you spend on a weekly basis doing marketing and promotion tasks? It will vary of course but there are some rules I've learned working with a broad swath of companies and industries over the past couple decades including B2B, B2C, online and retail.Feel free to poke holes in my theories here...but tell us all WHY so we can learn from your successes.
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I got so many questions about my last post "7 Steps to Bigger Marketing Muscle in 2010" I thought I'd give you some detail on each one of the steps. Measurement seems to be really tricky for people - but it's actually pretty simple. Once you have some basic measurements in place and you feel a need to go deeper, visit KD Paine's measurement blog - she's the real guru. I'd love to hear specific examples of how people are measuring their own results, so comment away! Here's my quick and dirty take -
I tell my clients that marketing is a lot like working out - you have to be consistent or you won't see results. No one expects to see muscles popping out all over after one visit to the gym. For the same reaons you can't expect immediate, lasting results from one promotional campaign. As you look toward 2010 and what will surely be a better year for all of us, it might help to build a marketing practice that looks a bit more like a workout schedule. Here are few ways to do just that.
There are so many books out there for business owners on how to do your own marketing and/or public relations. Frankly most of them say the same thing - know the reporter, don't be too salesy, etc. Here are my top five picks - not only are these books current, they go into real tactics that you can use right away. I think if you read these books, whether you're a small business owner, author, entrepreneur.... you can start promoting or upgrade what you're already doing and get some results fast.
Obviously social media is one of the best (and cost-effective) ways to promote your business, service, book, whatever. The definitive manual (and New York Times bestseller) on the subject is Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Smith and Brogan describe not only HOW to use social media, but WHY you want to use it and most importantly, how to measure your success. The book covers the basics of social media so a newbie can learn but also dives into the more sophisticated aspects of the medium
I'm straying way off course and off schedule in honor of the 7th anniversary of Wax Marketing - today! My biggest lesson? Dealing with the big GWF - the gut wrenching fear that comes with owning a small business. I don't think it's good marketing strategy, or business acumen, or networks that makes or breaks a small business. I think it's the ability to deal with fear.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, right?So the next time you wake up in the middle of the night worried about that big check you need to cover payroll - or when half your customers decide your service is a "luxury" they can do without - try these and see if they work. Here's how I've learned to deal with GWF over the past seven years. I hope you'll add your own fun tips and ways to get around it too!
I found a company willing to share a true, B2B social media case study complete with strategy, tactics, and heavens to betsy, they even measured it! As I perused my newly invigorated LinkedIn account I discovered Ed Loessi CMO and Chief Strategy officer for Boston-based RapidInfluence, a consulting company that focuses on the implementation of strategic plans. (Boy does every company need this!!) RapidInfluence embarked this year on a social media strategy and not only successfully implemented their strategy, they've documented it on their blog
Ed has kindly allowed me to re-blog their social media post here on the Wax blog - but I would strongly recommend you read the full blog on the RapidInfluence site here to view all the graphics and visit more links. Please add comments with suggestions you might have for RapidInfluence on new things they might do or things that have worked for your firm. We're all going to be learning new stuff forever in this world!
From the RapidInfluence Blog, October 6, 2009
Face it, people wouldn't be going out on their own or running a small business without guts of steel - but that same tenacity can really mess them up in marketing. As a critical success factor marketing is second only to customer service. Over the past few years I've seen the same mistakes over and over again in terms of small business and marketing - I've made most of them myself too.
Here are the top five pitfalls for I've seen most often in the past seven years at Wax - I'd love to add on to this list of marketing's deadliest sins so please comment!