When working hard to market your business, things can seem to be stacked against you. Obviously you will be consumed with the day to day aspects of work much of the time; taking a look at the marketing approach in place can become a chore and maybe even something you resent. I have noticed this amplify in people who look around and see others with what at least seems like more success and in a shorter period of time. Maybe the person noticed is within the same industry and a competitor, or maybe not. Either way it is normal to pick up on this and try to not let it get to you.
Ask yourself what reasons they might have had quick success and why it is working for them. Is it realistically something that can be applied to your business in the first place? What do they do differently that works? What do they do the same that works? Get the actual answers to these questions. Maybe they only started doing business 6 months ago, but they may have been sleeping on a great idea for much longer before pursuing it. While it’s not a bad idea to look around and notice the landscape of others and how they do things, it is important to remember who you are and what you are already committed to.
Always remember that marketing is a process and never stops. Whatever way you choose to bring your services to the community for consumption and everything that surrounds it will help define you in the eyes of many. I would recommend doing market research to determine what options are best, and choose what feels like a role you could assume and assimilate to your own identity. Commitment is crucial because it allows the message to travel farther and stronger. By this I mean that once you have decided on the best approach for representing and selling your product or service, commitment to that approach can be as important or more important than the quality of the strategy in general. A quality strategy is always a plus but consistency is absolutely paramount.
Conversely, you have to be careful about accidentally sending mixed or even conflicting messages toward your prospects. As ugly a thought as it is, people mentally put company’s into little compartments in their brain so they are easy to remember. If they harbor any intention to do business with you at all, they want to associate you with something if possible. If you send out one message, and then change that message it can stop impending business in its tracks. Hypothetically, let’s say a man gets a flyer every few months or so for a local hardware store that carries lumber. He gets this flyer and keeps thinking about building an awesome looking bar in the basement. When the time is right he is going to purchase from these people. One day they send him the normal flyer, but taking up about a third of the cover in the bottom right of the flyer is an ad pushing store’s new smoothie stand. The owner noticed the grocery store across the strip mall benefit from adding a frozen yogurt stand inside, and this was his equivalent strategy because it seemed to work so well for them. The man who got this flyer however feels confused and almost betrayed. He thought this was a serious hardware store that did 90% of their business through contractors alone, but now they are trying to get him to buy smoothies? He jokes to himself, “I wonder if the smoothies have sawdust in them” and plans to go to the Home Depot for his project because they seem more professional.
If you had to name a company right now, I’d bet my last dollar it would be one with a consistent message that stands out in your mind. Through the buying cycle we know people are always going to allow businesses to enter their consideration for each item they purchase. You want them to think of you when the time comes to buy the thing you sell, and it’s not always crystal clear when that will be. I could name right now at least four local businesses within my surrounding community that I have never bought from before, but I know without question I will be purchasing from when the time comes. They have no way to know I heard their message over time through various different ways. As a business all they’ll be able to do is commit and be consistent.
If your business struggles with establishing a strong marketing brand and message, call 978-927-0626 or email Marketing Coach Charlene St. Jean at Charlene@purplediamondmarketing.com . Don’t leave your marketing up to chance or allow months or years to pass by without reaching your sales goals!
Written by Guest Blogger – Ken Pellegrino. Ken Pellegrino is a freelance writer and part-time marketer at Purple Diamond LLC with a background in business management, marketing, sales and customer relations. A graduate from Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing, Ken shares his passion for marketing and sales with the owner of Purple Diamond, his mother, Charlene St Jean. In addition to his love of marketing, Ken is also a talented guitarist who enjoys both writing and playing music.