Small business owners continue to grapple with marketing.. either not know what to do or not having enough time/resources to get the activities done. The problem is that marketing is generally considered the most important function of a business. Without a steady inflow of new customers and prospects, the business will quickly come to a halt.
And therein lies the problem. Marketing is unique in that it's an engine that must always be turned on. Putting an effort here or there will not lead to increased revenues. Small business owners who recognize the importance, excel over their competitors.
In an effort to shed some light on the marketing guidelines, I've put together 10 "commandments" that dispel many marketing myths and help the owner to stay on track. To the degree that companies adopt and live by these commandments, their businesses will flourish-
I. Marketing is defined as getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you...in that order. You can't circumvent that process.
II. There is no mystery in marketing. The more people you communicate with and appeal to in a compelling way, the more business you'll generate.
III. Unless you operate a monopoly, it generally takes 6 to 9 contacts with a prospect before they're ready to buy from you.
IV. Building an effective marketing program is like building a house. Planning is the foundation and marketing activities are the bricks. Marketing contacts are never wasted...they're small investments in a foundation that will eventually lead to business.
V. The most important aspect of effective marketing by far is follow-through. If you're doing something, then half of the battle is won.
VI. You should be investing at least 5% of your ongoing revenues back into the business through marketing. It takes money to make money.
VII. If the business you're generating is only as good as your last advertising dollar, then you're not branding (differentiating) yourself. Effective branding is essential to taking your business to the next level.
VIII. Marketing today is an integral part of a small business. If you're not devoting time and/or resources to it continually, then you're at the mercy of the cycles and pitfalls of the marketplace.
IX. Due to its creative and reflective nature, marketing can and should be fun.
X. Marketing is not sales. Sales can have more immediate results. Marketing generally has a longer return on investment but because you're communicating with the masses, has a much broader impact.
Scott Campbell is the President of marketing firm Impact Marketing, Inc out of Atlanta, GA. They install marketing systems into businesses working predominantly in the "Building" sector.