“We tried marketing once and it didn’t work so I don’t think it works for us.”
The death knell words to any marketer.
We know many a business that has tried some kind of “marketing strategy” (and we use that term very loosely!) that resulted in a big, fat zero in returns. The problem is, many businesses think that since one campaign didn’t work, then marketing just isn’t for them.
We could give you story after story of companies whose marketing “failed.” The sure-thing direct mailer that resulted in far more post-office returned mail than leads. The digital campaign that didn’t spark a single response. The expensive print ads that looked great but didn’t result in even one phone call.
So, what went wrong?
Is it true that marketing just doesn’t work for some businesses? Or is it possible that marketing efforts fail due to . . . gasp . . . human error and the way they are set up?
Naturally, we believe that WITH THE RIGHT PLAN, marketing works; meaning it not only pays for itself, but it generates new revenue and long-term clients. One of the top keys to making marketing work for you is having a plan. A well-thought-out, well-researched, and fanatically-followed plan.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are our top four tips to making your marketing efforts really work. Follow these, and you are well on the road to seeing some serious marketing success.
- Have a basic understanding of how marketing works these days – and then build your plan around that knowledge
Marketing is rapidly changing. What used to work even just a few years ago doesn’t produce results any more. You need to know not only how to be in the marketing space, but also how to stand out from your competition in that space. And once you have a basic knowledge of marketing, you must have a plan.
Building a plan starts with fully understanding both where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Too often, we see companies jumping from one idea to another, trying each and every marketing technique they read about, all with no real plan. By formulating a cohesive strategy around both your target audience and how you are going to reach them, you can focus your efforts on those techniques that will give you the best return on your marketing investment. All other ideas that fall outside of your plan need to be either shelved for a later date or discarded altogether.
- Don’t be afraid to use someone outside of your organization who knows what they are doing
Let’s face it. You know your industry. In fact, you know it well. But just because you know your industry doesn’t mean that you fully understand how to MARKET your industry. Do your research and find someone who is good at marketing in your industry. Then get their help.
And can we be honest here? As digital marketing experts, it totally drives us insane when we do our research and know from experience what will most likely work, only to be told by someone that has never successfully run a marketing campaign that they “just don’t think that will work.” Find your marketing expert, and then let them do their job. They shouldn’t be telling you how to do your particular job – don’t tell them how to do theirs!
- Successful marketing usually involves some sort of a system or platform – make that investment and you won’t regret it
Just like having a good plan is vital to your marketing success, having a great system at your fingertips can make-or-break your marketing efforts. There are many great platforms out there now (HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft to name just a few – for a great listing of these tools, check out this page from Doz.com). These systems can automate your processes, manage your databases, even integrate with your sales platforms.
Some of the best marketing platforms can be a bit costly. But when used to their full potential, they can take both your marketing and your sales to a whole new level.
- Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
No, we haven’t slipped into a shampoo commercial. But the idea is the same with marketing. Plan out your marketing campaign (including knowing your audience well), analyze the results of that campaign carefully, keep what seems to be working while adjusting what doesn’t. Then repeat.
The beauty of marketing in 2018 is that we have complete visibility on every effort and how it is performing (if you don’t – get help! You need to know how to analyze every piece of your data). You can have full knowledge of where your marketing dollars are going, and how those are resulting in actual conversions into clients. Nothing in marketing is permanent, and you can always make changes to the things that aren’t performing as well as you would like them to.
We may be a bit partial, but we fully believe (and actually KNOW) that marketing works. It takes time, knowledge, a plan, and flexibility. But the growth of your business is absolutely dependent upon your marketing efforts.
Need help? That’s where we come in. Reach out to us to talk through your marketing headaches. We just might have the prescription that can make it go away!
Want to know the top 5 ways to market your PEO? Check out this blog post.