Marketing is a necessity and all businesses need it. It is peculiar, yes, but strange....no. Every business uses marketing and so should you. Embrace marketing as your friend, not your foe.
My husband is a fan of crowd funding campaigns especially for computer games on the very popular crowd funding site Kickstarter. Oh, to those that don’t know what crowd funding is, it’s when a business goes to the public and ask for funding and if someone contributes they receive a gift according to the amount they give. My husband gave to a small independent computer game company making a computer game that was fully funded on Kickstarter and now is trying to build and release the game. The company releases regular reports to Kickstarter “backers” as how things are going. My husband told me recently that the company has said on several occasions proudly that they have put all their money into development and none in marketing and they want their loyal “fans” and “backers” to help them to “spread the word” about the game. Really? That’s the marketing plan? It seems like they just made marketing a foe.
I hear and see this many times as companies feel they can avoid really spending time and money on marketing. Many companies feel that “hey, we can find an easy way to market” and move in that direction and hit a wall. Companies big, medium and small, have to put some work and sweat into marketing; it’s no way around it. If you can’t, well there are plenty of marketing agencies and consultants around to help you. Even this company my blog resides on, in which I say try them out if you have a question or concern.
Businesses must embrace marketing as they would a long lost friend and know that what you put into it, you will get back in a variety of ways. Social media tells the tale about how many business owners feel about marketing. It is their Foe. When asked about marketing they say they are having issues with it, but then they grow silent when asked what marketing assistance they think they need. My question is, "If you know you need it then why not get it"? Don't fear marketing and what it can do for your business.
Here are five tips I would tell a business owner trapped in the “fear of marketing” mode:
Marketing can be a friend, if you let it. It will only be a foe if you ignore it, fear it and just hope it goes away.
Engage, engage, engage…in this age of social media, engaging your customers and potential customers is a must, yet I feel many business owners miss this essential marketing strategy big time. In order to expand your brand you must get out and communicate with the public.
So let’s begin and talk about the big boy on the block for a bit, Facebook. On Facebook, “like” businesses and ask them to “like” your business. This is a great way to build relationships and you never know what can develop from a simple “like” on Facebook!
Always stay open to your audience, never limit the way they can reach you. It takes almost no effort at all to give customers or businesses access to post something on your page. This is a great opportunity to hear from your customers, whether good or bad. It provides feedback and opens the door to positive real-time exchange. Even the big boys like Burger King and Wendy’s let you post on their official Facebook pages, it was disappointing to see that McDonald’s is not as open. Bad Ronald!
Engagement is huge and necessary; here are a few statistics I discovered from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Sixty-seven percent of online adults say they use Facebook, yes that’s 67 percent!, 15 percent of online adults say they use Pinterest, 13 percent of online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent of online adults say they use Tumblr, and 16 percent of online adults say they use Twitter. So don’t sleep on the powerful potential of engagement.
A Facebook page is a great way to help you reach hundreds of readers while building your brand. But one mistake I’ve seen people make over and over. A Facebook business page is not and I repeat not a website. Stop being cheap! Just because Facebook is free and it allows you a platform for your business, it should not and will not replace the need for a website. It should only be part of your business marketing and media strategy, not the only one.
Facebook is a way to communicate with others in “real time”, but it does not lend credence to you as a business professional when you use it as your website. I’ve focused on Facebook a lot in this blog but don’t forget the other social media sources. All of which help you reach out, be seen and be heard.
We have focused on Facebook a lot in this blog so far, but let’s not forget about Twitter and Pintrest. With Twitter you are able to hear from your customers and potential customers quickly and foster exposure for your business. You can also see people “tweeting” about your business.
I have been reading that Pinterest is fast approaching the social media power of Twitter. Pinterest pushes images first and words second. People love pictures and your business, especially a retail one, can really benefit from using Pinterest. I saw an amazing fact that Martha Stewart Living’s Pinterest page rakes in more followers than their Facebook page! Engagement works! Oh, and even Martha lets you post on her Facebook page, but I digress.
Engagement is a key and essential tool in marketing which will help you take your business where you want it to go.
Being Patient, for many business owners is very hard as they want their business to prosper and grow quickly….like tomorrow!! But, I think it is best to take it slow and watch things grow.
At least, that’s want I tell our clients. It is my experience that good things will come if we keep plugging away, learn to be flexible, stay creative and be persistent with our marketing efforts.
Success is not going to come overnight as I informed one of my clients one day. I explained that with a bigger marketing budget, you can move a little faster, but with a limited budget, things will take longer as we have to be more creative with marketing. The belief that whatever you do, whether big or small, will give you an abundance of customers overnight, is unrealistic and as the saying goes, “slow and steady, wins the race”. With this client, we conducted an aggressive marketing campaign using a new website, social media, coupons, and loyalty rewards, for two months and the results of our efforts were not seen immediately. It took three more months before we saw the true results of our efforts. This client is now receiving media attention, more customers and building a positive reputation in their industry. They are on the way to bigger and better success, but it took patience, time and continued effort to receive these desired results.
So remember when you embark on a new marketing campaign and don’t see the results you seek immediately, don’t stop, don’t give up and most importantly don’t lose faith. Your efforts will pay off with time and patience.
So the biggest day of marketing last Sunday has come and gone. Most of us watched the Super Bowl and the expensive ads that came with it. I can honestly tell you I was a little disappointed with the commercials this year as there was really no breakout hits like the “Office Linebacker Tate” and the “E*Trade Baby”.
We did have some memorable commercials though, like the Go Daddy ad with the heavy kissing of the nerd and beautiful woman. The Mad Lady could have passed on this one, Ugh! I appreciated the commercial that featured the great Paul Harvey as he told a story about the American Farmer. My husband loved the Tide commercial with the stain on a shirt that looked like the likeness of football legend Joe Montana; I could have passed on that one too! But, uh, I did like the very cute Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s commercial trying to find milk, don’t tell the hubby!
The big day gives a great lesson to the overall power of marketing and what we can learn from it. Each and every one of the commercials was targeted to reach the particular potential customer the company was going for. Every company and marketing agency knows a brand will face a potential audience base in the millions watching the big game, so you throw your message to the masses and hope to connect with as many viewers as you can. If it is memorable and is mentioned on news programs, blogs or articles, all the better to reach even more potential customers. This also shows companies are will to spend the money to make money…something business owners should emulate no matter how small a business you are. You want to grow right?
It also tells us to “craft” your message to fit what you want to say and who you want to say it too. Yeah, some will not like your message, some will forget it, but many will pay attention and possibly act on what you have to say. So the way you craft your message can get potential customers or some attention that can be either positive or negative. Be mindful of your message as your goal is to bring in customers who are eager to try your product or service out.
You know what? I did like that crazy goat in the Doritos commercial, too funny, hum, need some Doritos, I’m getting hungry.
Till next time!
She is mad and she is not going to take it anymore! The Mad Lady Marketing Blog is just her way to drive home the importance of marketing in business. With over 15 years of experience in marketing, graphic design and communications, this marketing expert is mad (crazy) about marketing and mad (angry) at small businesses that don't understand or utilize marketing to promote their business.
Mad Lady Marketing is MAD!!
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