Planning marketing beats binge marketing
By carefully planning marketing you can avoid the grand daddy of all bad business behaviours: binge marketing. All it takes is some regular time allocated to the task.
Binge maketing is a panic button reaction said in the vain belief that a few actions here and there will get things moving again. Oh, that business development was that easy!
Effective marketing is not an activity to be done in spurts, it should be constantly happening. If we think of marketing as an engine, it needs to be ticking over steadily at all times. A quiet spell now often signals a lack of marketing six or nine months ago.
And we needn’t be daunted or scared by marketing. It needn’t be that difficult; the secret is to find what works for you and keep on doing it.
Marketing takes time to work. One-off panic actions usually come across as that – a business in panic. Few like to give their custom to a business in crisis, you simply will not be an attractive proposition.
Let’s look at a very basic marketing plan. Try developing something similar and trial it over a few months. Do more of the things that work- research, understand and amend the things that do not.
"One-off panic actions usually come across as that - a business in panic. "
As any successful network marketing person will tell you, the secret is to ‘sow a seed’ each and every day. In practical terms this might translate to:
- Telling at least one person per day what you do, who you do it for and the outcomes of your work
- Add the name of at least one potential client to your prospect list
- Add one more personal detail about an existing client to a personal profile database
- Send one letter/one email/make one telephone call to a new contact
The main point is to have marketing be the focus for at least a brief period each and every day. Often the best way is to block an hour or so out every morning to undertake such actions. The key is to start the engine and keep it ticking over.
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Next, let’s look at weekly marketing actions. These might include such things as:
- Following up the new contacts and relationships you’ve made during the week
- Setting aside time to make a block of phone calls to new prospects
- Asking past customers to respond to some questions regarding your level of service and their general impressions of your business – its procedures, its staff and so on
- Researching your competitors and seeing where your ‘point of difference’ lies. When was the last time you really looked into what those around you are up to?
If you’re effectively handling your daily and weekly actions, your monthly actions can be a time for summarising and looking at more far reaching strategies.
It’s a time to review areas of your business that you may not consider to be true marketing. For example, the effectiveness of all the ‘contact points’ of your business: your website; business stationery; email signature and so on.
All project an image, to your past, present and future customers. Each is an element of your overall marketing and is extremely important to the entire marketing picture. Could any be improved?
Very importantly, each and every month make voice contact (either in person or on the phone) with the people who really support and encourage your business. These people are your advocates – in effect, ‘silent salespeople’ for you. Think of them as your marketing team.
When you next contemplate a binge, try instead to translate your actions into a regular program of activity.