From my personal years of experience, I have noticed two types of business owners. One who gives up after the first try or one who doesn’t. The tricky thing about marketing (advertising, promotions, social media) is that there isn’t one general way to do it right. Everything is dependent on something different. Just because a business was successful in one strategy doesn’t mean another business can use the same exact plan.
It’s important to understand the different elements that goes into perfecting a marketing strategy:
1. Target Market Demographics
2. Data Analysis
3. Product or Service
4. Channel of Communication
5. Customer Experience
6. Company History
7. Current Events
…and so much more! With that stated, anyone is bound to hit or miss with this many elements to consider. The reason why some businesses feel so defeated when it comes to marketing is partly because they’ve failed before and spending money to try another strategy that may fail again is just a scary road to take. Other times, businesses find a strategy that works but when they applied it the second time, they failed. Perhaps they try it one more time and either they succeed or fail, they make up their mind that it’s just too much trouble to figure out.
Some businesses buried their marketing strategy box so far below the ground that when newspaper reps, social media managers, or ad agencies approach them, they just completely shut the idea of spending money with no guaranteed results. The mystery of marketing is all in the result and no one likes that kind of mystery. 🙂
It’s important for businesses to set aside a marketing budget, which is normally 10% of the previous year’s profit. Remember that marketing expenses are write offs and “out of site, out of mind.” As a small business owner, you have to commit to never giving up after a failed trial. If your strategy doesn’t work today, ask yourself what adjustments could have made it better?” Don’t give up so easily and listen for any ideas that can give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Here are a few things you can ask the rep about advertising that can ease your worries about the strategy:
1. What is the “reach” of the ad? – they should be able to explain the distribution of the advertising by giving you a list of zip codes.
2. How will the magazine/newspaper be distributed?
3. Is there an online version and will you be included in that print?
4. Will Social Media be a part of the package and to what extent?
5. If it’s an online ad or a social media strategy, how often will they provide you with analytics?
I will share more “things to ask” on my next post. In the mean time, I hope that I have helped open your mind to invest more in Marketing and to not give up with one, two, or even three not-so-favorable results. For every failed strategy, you should build an adjusted plan that will get you closer to a result you are happy with. After all, it is a game of trial and error.