Marketing is a marathon, not a moment. Everything you do to market your company presents a trade-off between time, money and results. It should be no surprise, then, that the best marketing strategy for your organization needs to strike a balance among these factors to achieve and maximize return on investment (ROI). The best strategy needs to take a programmatic approach to marketing, which runs counter to how many small and medium business owners market their businesses.
In the SMB segment, business leaders typically need to handle their own marketing. They may have a marketing person on their team, but that person is unlikely to have much experience – which can become a factor in developing an approach of using the latest and greatest technology without a longer-term strategy. Unfortunately, because the latest technology is also the most expensive, this can mean that the cost for marketing may far exceed the return.
If you view your marketing program as a group of individual efforts that are used to attract business, you are probably not getting the results you should for the amount of time and money you are investing. This approach is like firing a shotgun at a target and hoping to hit the bullseye with as many pellets as possible to generate the revenue needed to sustain your business. But this approach reduces the impact each effort could otherwise have if it was part of a broader marketing strategy.
If you are also one of the many leaders who try each approach for a few months and stop anything that has not produced a result in that time period, you are definitely spending a lot more than you need to. How do I know that? Because marketing is not a moment, it’s more like a marathon. I’m certainly not saying that you need to stick with a given tactic for years, but before you start it you should know about how long it will be before you see the initial results from it. You also need to know what result(s) that tactic was designed to achieve.
A great marketing strategy should have vision, and be designed to not only obtain the results you want, but also include the metrics you need to see the progress toward the longer-term goal(s). And the world of marketing can be confusing. Marketing professionals all use the word strategy, but they mean it in different ways. Who can fault a business leader for not understanding marketing strategy?
Marketing agencies typically focus on the promotion (or advertising) aspect of marketing, but a marketing strategy should consider and address product development, the people on all sides of the transaction, the placement, and pricing of your product as well. That’s the job of a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Smaller businesses do not need a full time CMO, but that doesn’t mean they would not benefit from having a fractional (or part-time) CMO.
How much revenue is your strategy leaving on the table? Why not schedule a complimentary marketing strategy discussion today and find out?