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Underperforming Marketing or Why am I wasting my money on marketing?

Nothing causes a small business owner to go into a fit of rage faster than asking them about their marketing.

 “I don’t know what’s working”. “I don’t know how to measure it”.  “What would happen if I just stopped it all, would it even make a difference”?

I hear this a lot. A LOT!

Marketing is something that is incredibly important to any business, but it is also an enigma wrapped in a riddle (or something like that).

I guess the best place to start is to agree on what is marketing, especially for a small business.

I believe marketing is: the process of communicating your unique offering to a group of people that have a need for it.

There are a few key words in that definition. Let’s take a closer look.

Communicating: This means two-way, not broadcast. While you are delivering your message, are you also listening to what’s being said?

Unique Offering: What do you excel at? You can’t be all things to all people. Become self aware of what you can really deliver on.

Group: What is the community you serve? What are the commonalities of the people you serve (demographics, psychographics and geographics)?

Need: Is it something they will actually pay for?

There are really two major parts of your marketing:

  1. The crafting of your message
  2. The delivering of your message

Crafting Your Message

This step takes time and requires you to be able to answer the following questions:

  • What do we want to be known for?
  • What do we do exceptionally well?
  • What makes us different from our competitors?
  •  What are the three most important things we do for our audience?

Delivering Your Message

One of the questions we get asked most is “Where should I promote my business”?  Unfortunately there is no perfect answer, but these questions will help:

·      Where do your customers go for information?

·      How often do your customers need what you sell?

·      Does your offering require a detailed explanation?

·      Do you have many or few competitors?

Great marketing is usually simple.

1.    Understand what your audience needs

2.    Determine if you can properly satisfy that need

3.    Craft a simple message about why they need you to solve that need

4.    Deliver that message regularly and consistently

5.    Gather feedback and make adjustments

As small business owners we tend to over complicate things. Simple is always the best way.

Each person you are trying to reach is exposed to over 3000 promotional messages a day competing for their attention. Your goal is to find the people that need what you do and need it now.

No easy task. That’s why the clearer and simpler your message the easier it is to become known for it and remembered.

If it’s hard to explain what you do, people will not remember you.