Marketing Is A Full Time Activity

Sad businesswoman

Marketing not working?

Three deceptive marketing strategies

In looking back over several decades of consulting to businesses of all sizes we have identified some key patterns in their marketing strategies. Frequently, we have seen an absence of marketing strategies! But that’s a post for another time.

Among the many patterns, three strategies stand out as being most frequent and most lethal to the health of the smaller firms.

  • First is the mousetrap idea type, perhaps the most widespread marketing malady with a total lack of understanding of – sometimes even a prejudicial attitude of the management against — marketing in general. We put these strategies into a category loosely described as “We have a great service so obviously business will be drawn to us automatically.” (Perhaps we should call this “Build it and they will come?.”) In any case, this passive strategy isn’t likely to work very well, if at all.
  • Second is the problem-solving masters approach, where a preoccupied, task-oriented organization takes on ever-more-daunting challenges and watches new business come in exclusively from referrals. The shock comes when the business discovers that profits have steadily declined because over a period of months the referrals – to ever tougher projects — have become less and less profitable. Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t free if the referrals aren’t profitable!
  • Third we dub “the occasional marketers,” where management acknowledges the need for marketing but procrastinates until there is a critical need . . . like a drop-off in business. Often, management has tried various advertising tactics or “schemes” that they read about or bought from a traveling salesperson and they wake up one morning to realize they don’t have a systematic Marketing Plan in place and they’ve squandered most of their budget.

A Real Marketing Plan For Your Business

The reality is that marketing is a full-time activity and works best when systematically pursued according to a carefully worked-out plan. And too, it’s well to remember that virtually everything about your business has a marketing component, from the colors on your logo to the way your phone is answered, even when you are out of the office!

Let’s go back here for another shot at that mousetrap B.S. Building a better anything is only a good strategy if you have an existing, quantified market for what it is you have improved on.

Two decades ago market research was a lot more challenging than it is today . . . and a lot more expensive. Today, with the appearance of search engines like Google and Bing, you can actually pre-test an idea before investing any real money. Find out how many people are searching for that type of product, what they’re saying about things they’ve bought, etc.

We have dug into this aspect of the marketing process in much greater depth in our ebook, Strategic Marketing Plan for Professionals. You may want to learn more about it, and its companion volume, Winning Clients — 21 Tactics.  Both are available at The Marketing Machine — just click the links to get more details.

Before you do, though, review those three deceptive strategies described above. Have you been tempted by or even fallen afoul of any of them?

Joe Krueger
The Marketing Machine®

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