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Kathy Creaner, post: 83068 wrote:
I find the whole idea of going to somebody to help me to develop a “marketing plan” overwhelming. I’m concerned that I’ll end up paying a fortune for advice that I don’t have the skills or understanding to implement. It’s not that I think that professional marketers would deliberately do that, it’s more that I’m worried I’ll get swept along by their enthusiasm and end up with regrets later.

That’s why my current learning project for my husband’s business is marketing. I’m doing a lot of reading, I’m testing out ideas I’ve discovered (my facebook competition has ended up being a dud, but I’m finding it much easier to write content for our websites and blogs) and I’m discovering just what it is that we’d be paying for when we’re ready to invest in some professional advice.

To answer your questions

Our main business, The Balcony Shop, has no formal marketing plan. Instead, we get ourselves to a couple of trade shows a year (Sydney and Melbourne) to find customers, and we have a website. We’ve tried some email marketing as well.

I see the value in a marketing plan, because we can’t really measure the success of what we’re doing. We think we’re getting better at the trade shows but it’s not measured in any concrete way.
For me, the value would be in having a plan/calendar for different marketing activities. Things seem to rush up on us in a hurry, and it’s easy to forget the preparation we should be doing for the next activity.

For us, I think the hardest part is knowing what tactics would work for small players in our industry, particularly as we’re reluctant to deal with the big box brands. I also think that the up-front market research would help us. We attracted completely the wrong type of customer for us at our first trade show (designers rather than retailers). We can see why that happened now, but the research would have been less expensive than learning from experience.

I hope this is the type of information you’re looking for.



Perhaps on your website you can have a “How you found us” section somewhere. That way you will have a better idea of which marketing techniques are yielding the best results.