business marketing strategies:
Your BEST marketing is YOUR passionate story, told to people who are interested in the same things. What can I say, this is the cornerstone of ALL business, however complicated or however simple. It is also very often the most looked over aspect and least systematized of most businesses. Most of us have heard how bad the economy is doing and how tough things are in the auto industry. Pick up a local paper, the company with the biggest ads and clearest message will have the best chance of being in business next year. Here is the reason:
Advertising works, simple as that.
You see, everything you present to the world personally and professionally is part of your marketing and must be taken seriously. Every syllable, every color you chose, the texture of your business cards, everything is marketing. How you show up, when you show up and with whom. What is your state when you arrive? How are you prepared? All of it is scrutinized and demands your attention.
The challenge that we have today is that because things were so good, I mean really, they were beyond good for so long that people forgot that money, wealth and success generally needs to be earned. In order to continue the flow of this wealth it must be respected. Continuous, scheduled, planned and measured marketing is a form of respect.
Great marketing has an unlimited budget
If you are worried about a budget then the are problems in the system, delivery, product, price, culture etc. If you are worried something is wrong, because people love to do business where ALL their needs are being addressed at very high levels all the time. Those businesses understand marketing because they live, breath, eat and sleep it. Their culture is a reflection of their marketing and lives congruently with that. When this little miracle occurs the company will experience massive success.
Marketing, culture, vision, mission, performance, excellence...
all buzz words in the small business environment.
Here is another less than AVERAGE statement for you, "We have a focus on customer service?" I ask you this; who cares, because who doesn't say that? I will tell you if you are committed to the product or the outcome of the core or intended service. Your customer service can stink, but no one will ever know because they will never get to the "I had a bad experience now what?" If the food is beyond amazing the place will pack out, every time. Here is the little challenge, if the food is average and you think it is beyond amazing and your customer service stinks please send us all your money NOW because you are going to loose it for sure. This is where most businesses fall, average to poor. That is why 96% will never make it beyond the tenth year. Here is the really bad news *0% of those companies that do make it that long will still not make or earn what their true potential could be because they have neglected core aspects of the marketing discipline.
Most of my young business career was spent in the service industry, Hair Salons to be specific. For years, we maintained double digit growth well into the millions. Our Salons won awards after awards. Our stylist won Emmy's and were published world wide. We took care of celebrities and socialites. We were published thousands of times, and yes every week we were in some sort of local periodical. By far we were the largest and busiest Salon in the area and one of the most expensive suburban salons in the world.
Where we were was not a highly affluent area. It was upper middle class at best. Great people, awesome sense of community, but we were not in the same demographics as other salons within a 45 minute drive. Yet, we consistently found a way to grow faster stronger and longer then more then 99% of the over 2000 salons in a 25 mile radius.
How did we do it? MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING!
If you are still not a believer, I ask you this. Given the choice, would you chose pretty or ugly if you are going out on a date? MARKETING: the pretty person gets more opportunities, bottom line.
Still do not want to admit how deeply marketing plays into the game? How many woman over 30 but under 50 with grey hair let it grow in naturally? Look around and see if you can find one, watch out because it might take days. Marketing! They do not want to present a grey head to themselves or the world because of how they will feel when they look in the mirror or how they will feel when they look at your reaction.
Men, can we agree that the speed limit does not get moved up because you drive a Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari or Mercedes Benz in any state in the US? Why drive those cars? I hope your answer is how it makes you feel!
Marketing is about creating a feeling and making sure that the feeling you are creating is universal enough to be understood and clear enough to be understood. I say both because I mean both. Universal so all can understand, and clear so that all can understand. Your service and/or product must draw to it its own audience through clarity.
Clarity is Power!
When the message is undeniable, then the people receiving it and who are looking for it will gravitate towards your company first. Price is not always the issue if the marketing was done right.
In our case we cut hair. NO, anyone can cut hair. We drew your inner beauty out. Our Salons brought out the best in YOU, exactly the way you wanted every time.
This is a VALUE PROPOSITION and is always followed with a call to action, so book the appointment now and find what you have been looking for for so long. Your search ends today!
What is your value proposition and how are you marketing it?