On the subject of developing a marketing strategy, why do so many firms are in such a race to get momentum, to get traction from their initiatives, that they forget the age old precept – accuracy first, momentum second?
Isn’t that why contractors at all skill levels know you should measure twice, cut once?
Don’t forget – it doesn’t help to be making good time, if you find yourself going in the wrong direction.
So, exactly why are some organizations – not you, your rivals preferably, firing away before they have the specific target dialed in – with a clearly defined focus?
Possibly it’s because business people are generally naturally action people together with it just feels better to do something than only thinking about it.
Most likely you have never thought about yourself as a strategist, the other members of your business are too busy with the day-to-day chores to help out, and there’s no one else to confide in that you trust 100%.
And anyway, what if you spend time and effort strategizing all the “what if” eventualities you can imagine only to come up with something that fails?
A principal key to success is the value of your uniqueness. What is it about your business that distinguishes you from your competitors in your marketplace?
Incidentally, who are your conventional challengers? Are there any new competitors coming on the scene? What exactly do you consider your current marketing area? Did 70-80% of your new business come from a comparatively small number of accounts, or a sub-niche in your marketplace, or a single geographical area this past year?
In the event you know precisely who is presently buying from you, and why, you’ll never be able to articulate your USP, your unique selling proposition – from the mindset of your customers.
Would it be handy if you could set up a small group of your associates , folks who fully grasp your difficulties, to discuss these and other elements of your small business strategy with? People who live around the country – not nearby, so you won’t be telling your business secrets or sharing your plans with a someone you’re going to run into at the mall or at church.
Yet another key to the effectiveness of your marketing plan and to the success of your company generally speaking is the caliber of your organization’s recognized reputation as someone to do business with.
In this day of almost infinite choices of vendors it is vital that you are viewed as someone people like doing business with and someone people trust to keep their word.
If you’re the best kept secret in your targeted market place or in your industry – if the right people don’t know who you are, your results will be less than they would be if you are a household name among your potential clients.
Your customers already know who you and to the extent they keep doing business with you are happy with the relationship. If they characterize the “right people” to you, how will you recruit them in your efforts to propagate your reputation as a sound organization to do business with?
Perhaps your peers, those who are in your industry, have developed marketing strategies that effectively target the right people in their market? Maybe these same peers will help you focus your efforts in the right places based on what’s working for them? That would put some sharp teeth into your marketing strategy, wouldn’t it?
The next key is the quality of your products and support services.
There’s every chance that the quality of your products and support services measures up to your customers’ expectations. If it didn’t there would be few recurring sales and sales generally would be declining.
Your task is to develop the ability to routinely communicate the fact that your customers’ expectations are being met to your prospects. In other words getting that message out prior to the sale is the key.
An effective strategic marketing strategy brings together these elements into a seamless process that will let you focus on what you are unique at, who is the ideal prospect for it, and then recruiting your satisfied customers to tell your story to the right people in your marketplace.
For many of you this will not be a complex process. It will take effort and you will need help.
That help can and in all probability should really come from a group of your peers, people from your industry, who are far outside of your traditional marketing area.
People whose marketing insights and experiences are directly relevant to you.
Today, free long distance service, instant online webinar services, and small business webinar tools can make your meetings effective without worrying about the time and expense wasted getting to and from face to face get togethers.
All these Internet tools also offer the ability to interact with the other members of your strategic marketing peer group 24/7 – so your plans can be refined continually to deal with the speed of change in business today.
Most of us rely on occasional, often coincidental connections with our peers for the insights that could make all the difference. Conversely business owners who regularly integrate the experiences of their successful industry peers into their decision making process will certainly outpace those who simply set goals and hope for the best.
When we make better decisions we get better results. Business success is the result of continuously making better, more informed decisions. The best leadership decisions are those made in collaboration with people whose success we respect and whose opinions we trust.
When we harness to power of people we respect we make better decisions virtually 100% of the time. If you want to be even more successful in the future than you are today, a business to business leadership development mastermind group will show you how to stay focused on what’s important to you, your family, and your business.
Kenny Blankenship, Managing Director & Content Coordinator
Dawn Manning, Editor in Chief & Video Strategy Coordinator
Vickie “Vic” Catalano Romano, Content Coordinator & Managing Editor
Wayne Messick, Publisher
Family Business Strategies
New York, NY
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