Well, ok, we don’t want to say that this will make marketing easy. However, what we want to do here is offer some assistance in regards to the oft-asked question, “How do I get started?” Especially for entrepreneurs who are trying to run their businesses themselves and market their products or services, analysis paralysis where marketing is concerned is a very real problem. Quite often we are approached by business owners who just want to know where they should start. What marketing tactic should come first?
Our answer can be boiled down to one tip. Think BOT.
That’s not quite what you were waiting for, is it? Well, let me explain. BOT is an acronym that stands for Budget, Objectives, Tactics. Let’s break each of these categories down.
Before you talk to any marketing consultant, it’s a good idea to have a number in mind for your marketing budget. Sometimes this is hard to do. If you’ve never invested in marketing before you may not have any idea what is even realistic. We can handle that part, but we want to be able to present you with ideas that are within reach right off the bat. It’s also a good exercise for any entrepreneur to take a look at the bottom line and determine what portion of that should be dedicated to marketing. When you meet with us, be up front about your budget. It’s just wasting everybody’s time if we come up with a lot of ideas that you just can’t afford right now.
You may find it beneficial to ponder your objectives and your budget at the same time. What are you willing to invest in order to achieve xyz objective? Quite often, people approach us and say something along the lines of, “I’ve never invested in marketing and I know I should.” Marketing is not about peer pressure, however (even though we think it’s super cool…just saying). Marketing because you’re feeling guilty is NOT a good reason to invest in marketing tactics. Moreover, if you do not provide a marketing firm or consultant with clear objectives, the chances of you feeling inexplicably disappointed are pretty good. Humans are silly and only really realize what we want when we get something else.
There are a couple of minor points about setting marketing objectives that I do want to inform you about. First, it is GREAT if you want to set extremely specific objectives, like, “I would like to see sales increase by 5% over the next three months.” Setting a goal like that means that you need to communicate with your marketing team about how sales are moving. Marketers can pivot their tactics pretty easily, but we need to know what’s working and what is not. After a week of no movement in your sales, it’ll be clear something else needs to be added to the mix. Skyrocketing sales should also be communicated, especially if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed.
The other thing I would put out there is that marketers are not sales people. We bring people to your house, if you will, but unless we are driving traffic to an e-commerce store, someone else within your company is going to need to nurture leads and close the deal. Making sure that there is open communication between marketers and whomever is in charge of your sales is essential to meet whatever objective you set.
The burden of budget setting and objective setting is mostly on you, the company owner. Tactics, though, you can leave to us. After we discuss what you want to accomplish and what your budget is, we will choose the tactics that we think will get you where you need to go. There are just a few things to keep in mind.
- If you do not have a website, or if your website is not mobile-friendly, we will hesitate to do anything else until that is taken care of .
- If your budget is not big enough right now to run ads at a frequency, we probably will say to wait unless there is an absolute “must” issue. We are big believers in building a brand over time.
- We are passionate about integrated marketing. That means instead of just proposing one thing, we’ll show you how committing to one action item can lead to social media content, a news release, a new web page, and more.
- We have a professional photographer on staff and we aren’t afraid to use him!
Deciding to invest in marketing is a huge step for your company. Don’t be shy about contacting us with any questions you have.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lexnger/4293218511 via Creative Commons