What’s holding you back in your marketing?
Marketing Tips from Nial Adams of The PUSH Academy
What’s holding you back in your marketing?
With over 24 years of business experience, the last 15 as a consultant, trainer and mentor, I’ve spoken personally with hundreds of business owners, probably thousands. When the conversation turns to the issue of Sales and Marketing there are some key factors that always come to the surface.
For the most part many people feel that time and resources are their biggest issue. Whether this be the time available to really focus on these crucial elements, or the budget that they feel is needed to start generating some positive results.
These are genuine issues for sure. Dedicating time and money to your sales and marketing is vital, however, I’ve often found that this is not really the main issue. I would say that there are actually two other elements that are more fundamental: knowledge and the confidence to act.
I’ve frequently spoken and written about the issue of Core Business Knowledge and my belief that this is something that every business owner has an obligation to equip themselves with. Doing things for the sake of them, simply because it feels right is rarely a plan for success. And this is exactly my point. Some people will forge ahead, quite possibly doing the same things they’ve always been doing because they believe that more of the same will produce a result.
But let’s just think about that for a moment…
We all know that if something isn’t working for you doing more of it is unlikely to solve the problem. Marketing is a great example of this. I’ve watched so many business owners throw profits at marketing activities and campaigns with little more than the hope that this will work for them.
Let’s face it, that simply sounds like gambling.
Yes of course, there is a need to try a range of activities and refine what you’re doing. However, it makes much more sense to start from a position of knowledge and use the experience of others to help you get to a better result faster.
There are no rules about cheating in business – at least when it comes to marketing…
Likewise, there are no prizes for making life hard for yourself or your business. Being a busy business owner isn’t your goal. In fact it should be the complete opposite; I’d really like you to be lazy! Lazy in the sense that I want you to get the biggest result for the least amount of effort (and spend) allocated.
Just think for a moment; if you could produce 10-20-30% more results from your sales and marketing activities you could spend more time on the import stuff… like your customers, your staff, or even creating new ways to grow your business.
Thankfully the world has changed and I can confirm that opportunities to create better marketing results have increased massively over the past couple of years. At the same time the costs of doing this have fallen sharply. Every business owner or manager, no matter how small the budget is, can now access a bigger, more informed market, than ever before.
Gone are the days of taking big risks with print advertising, where you roll the dice and simply hope that your large, expensive advert will bring a flood of new sales. In the same way, you don’t need to send out thousands of ‘cold’ mailshots with the idea that you can get excited when 98% of end up in the wastepaper bin.
The ability for customers to transact with you are far more flexible, efficient and cost-effective to manage than ever before. This means you can finally have much more control in your business and depend less on an army of marketing or advertising ‘experts’ who are simply there to extract the most amount of money from you.
Core Business Knowledge covers a whole range of elements. Strategies and tactics designed to help you put the right product or service in front of the right customer at the right time are vital. My recommendation is to focus on the ones that will make a fast impact and have the potential to increase your results exponentially. Learning these, how they really work and, most of all, which are appropriate to you and your business are the first steps.
[If you want to gain some basic knowledge then a good place to start is to download a free copy of my eBook – The Marketing Index – details at the end of this blog.]
With knowledge comes confidence. Again, I’ve met hundreds of people who won’t take any action because they simply don’t have the confidence to know what to try first. Many of them have been burned badly in the past and watch huge amounts of money disappear into a black hole.
“Good business is simple; do more of the stuff that works and less of the stuff that doesn’t!”
So here’s a challenge for you to consider carefully…
How much of what you’re doing right now, in terms of your Sales and Marketing, can you confidently identify as working well for you? Do you even know what results you’re getting; how do you measure this?
My own mentor, from many years ago, explained to me the classic revelation of ‘Advertising’ (for which today we might generically term as marketing). And this is it:
“Advertising is salesmanship in print”
To bring this statement up to date I would propose that “Marketing is the ability to sell through other means than just face-to-face communication”.
And here is the essential point that this definition highlights. If you’re using any form of marketing at all, be that print, adverts, your website, direct mail, Social Media, or whatever, how do you know if it’s actually working for you? Just as you would set targets and measure the performance of any Salesperson in your business (including yourself!), you should also be setting performance targets for your marketing. If it isn’t producing… fire it!
If you’re feeling a sense of confusion, frustration or even panic when it comes to marketing then my best advice is to STOP. Take a step back and seriously question what you’re doing and why? Almost certainly you’ll see that there are activities that you’re spending time and money on that you really can’t justify any longer.
Once you’ve taken this crucial step, then you can start to build a proper plan. You can invest in yourself and gain Core Business Knowledge based on fact and hard evidence.
If this makes perfect sense to you then I only have one question left; what’s holding you back from doing this?
Nial Adams – Google+
– Nial is a trainer, consultant and mentor, specialising in Marketing for SME and Micro businesses. Author of The Marketing Index, he also provides coaching and support remotely to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs across the UK.
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