Category Archives: Marketing

Warning: ‘Casual Marketing’ Leads to Business Casualties

Let’s start out by defining exactly what ‘casual marketing’ is. In a nutshell, it’s trying a marketing tactic once, maybe twice, and when you don’t see immediate or expected results, you drop that marketing tactic and either try something else or worse yet don’t do any marketing for a while – hoping clients will just magically appear. This is the old “build it and they will come” disorder. I don’t know if you’re one of the charmed ones or not, but sitting and waiting for clients to show up has never worked for me or anyone I know of.

Now when analyzing reports provided by the U.S. Small Business Association, I noticed a shocking trend. Basically, for every small business that opens its doors each year, another one closes theirs. That’s a pretty scary statistic! And it’s my belief that ‘casual marketing’ is one of the main causes of that statistic being as bad as it is.

So how do you ensure that you don’t wind up on the bad side of that statistic? Well from a marketing standpoint, here are 3 steps to avoid the ‘casual marketing’ curse:

1. Vary Your Marketing Approach to Ensure the Most Comprehensive Reach

Approach your target audience from different angles using a variety of different mediums. First off, I believe it’s important to note that different people like to be communicated to in different ways. Visual people may give more credence to messages that appeal to their eyes – eye candy so to speak. For example flashy display ads, photographs, and video would most likely be their preference. Auditory people most likely would enjoy hearing your messages. Therefore, marketing campaigns that used tactics such as such as radio, teleseminars, and audio postcards would probably yield the most success. And lastly kinesthetic people who typically prefer something they can put their hands on. For example, test driving your product or service and physical samples would most likely appeal to them the most.

So being that it’s close to impossible to know the communication style preference of every one in your target audience, which approach do you choose? How about a combination of the three? For example, if you are a car dealership, why not offer a combination of flashy display ads, audio postcards, and test drives? This way you appeal to your entire target audience in one way shape or form.

Additionally, you may want to approach your target audience using different mediums. Don’t be afraid to mix it up here because once again different people tend to be more comfortable with different mediums. Some like print media like newspapers and magazines, others prefer Internet-based mediums such as web sites and email, while still others prefer mediums such as television – and the list can go on and on here.

2. Marketing Consistency Is Key to Building Relationships

While you may want to vary your marketing approach, it is critical however to communicate a consistent message and image of who you are and how you can solve your target audience’s problem. And for small businesses, the byproduct of this effort should lead to branding.

3. ‘Always-on Marketing’ Is Vital to Your Survival

Marketing should not be a some-of-the-time thing; it needs to be an all-of-the-time thing.
And in the absence of your leadership, your target audience will tend to listen to whoever is doing the talking. And with the vast array of competition out there screaming in your target audience’s ear, your allegiance to ‘always-on marketing’ is more critical than ever. Now how you stand out from the pack is a whole other story for another day. Just know that you have to at least be in the game. So always don the marketing hat and learn how to sense and make the most of marketing opportunities.

So let’s be honest now, have you been guilty of ‘casual marketing’? Whether you have or you haven’t, know that that’s not what’s important here, it’s what you do from now on that counts. So decide right now to employ ‘always-on marketing’ in your business. I urge you to try this persona on for a while and see how it fits. I’m sure that you’ll notice that it gets much easier over time – it becomes second nature. And better yet, it brings results.

Fear of Failure: For a Marketer, It’s the Kiss of Death

Susan B. Anthony was once quoted as saying “Failure is impossible”. And you know what? I believe she was right because regardless of the outcome of whatever action you take, in anything you do, you always gain something from taking action.

On the other hand, fear of failure typically shows up as procrastination or inactivity which is the complete opposite of what fosters great marketing which for most of us requires properly targeted consistent and persistent action.

Now maybe you tried some marketing, even worse maybe you spent some of your hard to come by, hard earned money and didn’t quite achieve what you ultimately set out for.

As a marketer, and yes whether you realize it or not we are all marketers, if I was afraid to fail, I’d probably never try anything – unless of course it was a sure thing and I don’t believe anything in life is a ‘sure thing’. But anyway, if I never tried anything, I believe it would be safe to say that my target audience would not know who I was or what I do. Then as a result I’d most likely go out of business due to lack of sustainable income.

Now I’ve read the studies too that state the lack of capital as the main reason most small businesses fail however, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that although I can’t prove it, I believe one of the biggest reasons business fail or underachieve is due to lack of effective marketing.

The key here is to not be attached to an outcome. So what if customers weren’t banging down your door because of your last marketing campaign. What’s most important here is what you do going forward. The past is the past, you can’t change that. You can however, shape your future by what you do right now in the present.

Stay in the game. Learn from your previous marketing efforts and move forward.

Now marketing is all about timing and consistency and since timing is almost impossible to predict, consistency is key. You cannot know when every prospect is going to be ready to buy – that’s just impossible. It’s almost like trying to time the stock market. “Should I invest now? No. Should I invest now? No. How about now? Yes, it looks good, I’ll invest now.” Waiting for what seems to be the perfect time to invest is for the most part just like gambling. Hopefully you’re at least taking educated guesses there though, but that’s beside the point. Also note that even the best of the best investors regularly have bad timing however, their consistency and willingness to keep playing eventually bring them success.

So yes I’m drawing a parallel for you here. And my point is just get on the playing field. Get you marketing message out there consistently. Don’t sit back and wait for the perfect time to market your business – NOW is the perfect time! It’s always the perfect time to market your business because there is simply no way you can know when the perfect time is for everybody. However, by consistently getting your message out there to your target audience, you stand a much better chance of being top-of-mind when a certain prospect is ready to buy.

For example, if I sent out the same marketing piece every month, maybe for the first 4 months a particular prospect wasn’t interested. But then that 5th month rolls around and that prospect’s situation has changed a bit for whatever reason unknown to me, they now just happen to need what I offer and ‘whalla’ there I am positioned right in front of them.

Another key point to consider is that each ‘no’ brings you one step closer to a ‘yes’. So being told ‘no’ should not be looked at as a failure, but as a stepping stone bringing you closer to what you want.

So let me close by combining wisdom from 3 sources for you, former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nike, and Lotto and it goes something like this: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” so “Just Do It” because “You’ve got to be in it to win it”!

Jumpstart Your Marketing With The “Rule of 5”

Let me ask you and be honest with yourself here, are you getting the results you want in your business? If you are great, this message will be helpful in getting you to the next level. If you’re not, don’t worry, it will certainly put you on the right path.

Now I’ve read the studies too that state the lack of capital as the main reason most small businesses fail however, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that although I can’t prove it, I believe one of the biggest reasons business fail or underachieve is due to lack of effective marketing.

When I attended a seminar by T. Harv Eker a few years back, he mentioned and I quote “it takes creativity to make money”. In other words it doesn’t take money to make money; it takes creativity to make money. Now that’s a hard concept for most of us to grasp, it certainly was for me until I started reading a few Guerrilla Marketing books by Jay Conrad Levinson which primarily deal with using sweat equity and creativity instead of money to promote your business.

Now why am I telling you this? Basically to lay the foundation for the gem I’m about to share with you here today. That gem is a simple yet effective technique I picked up from two of my mentors Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield.

This technique is called the “Rule of 5” and what it means is simply doing at least 5 things every day towards accomplishing a specific goal.

Now since learning this concept a ways back, I have expanded on it a bit to make it more relevant and effective for me. And my guess here is that there’s a good chance it will suit you as well.

So here’s my adaptation that I call “Rule of 5 Marketing”. Essentially it means doing at least 5 marketing activities every day to effectively promote yourself or your business. You commit to this and you are virtually guaranteed success.

Now that can mean making 5 phone calls to key prospects, giving a teleseminar to 5 or more prospects, sending out a press release to 5 publications that cater to your target audience or, whatever marketing activity is most effective for your business. Just make sure you do 5 things day in and day out, without fail because a big part of marketing is about consistency.

And speaking of consistency, a great way to hold yourself accountable and to stay on track is to keep a daily journal where you log the 5 marketing activities you completed each day.

If you find yourself slipping and not getting it done, I recommend you enlist a coach or a colleague to become an accountability partner for you – then you can phone them or shoot them an email letting them know you honored your commitment. This just adds that little extra something to inspire you to get it done.

So commit to it, journal it and be accountable to apply the Rule of 5 to your marketing every day and watch your business take off.