For many business owners, when they finally give in to marketing, it is when all else has failed. Unfortunately, at this point, these business owners have lost their faith in marketing and they are looking for a miracle. There is a disclaimer I put in every marketing proposal I write and it goes as follows:
“Please keep in mind, Green Leaf Marketing does not own or possess a magic wand therefore we can’t predict how the public will respond to your business/organization but we will make every effort to promote your business/organization to the best of our abilities and resources.”
I include this in every proposal because I want my clients to be realistic. I want them to know they have to trust the process. There is no magic wand, fairy dust or magical trance that will bring customers to your business. Marketing takes time, effort and money. It is a two-way process.
If these two processes work together, marketing can be a “magical” process, but it is not magic that makes it work. Marketing takes time, effort and money.
Before I end this post, there is another thing I need to point out to small business owners. Money always trumps time. Big companies have big money and they are able to embark on elaborate marketing campaigns in which the results are exponential. But for small business owners, this is not an option. So if your marketing budget requires you to take a step by step approach to marketing, be sure to know that your results will be likewise.
Marketing is not an exact science. Meaning that, the strategies you employ will not always yield the same results. There are always variables which come into play. Too many business owners put unrealistic expectations on marketing. They want a guarantee when it comes to marketing. They want a dollar for dollar ROI (return on investment). They want every marketing strategy they employ to be successful. If this is you, then I am here to tell you – that is NOT how marketing works.
Marketing is an investment in your business. As with any investment, it takes time and a concerted effort to make your investment pay off. You may start with a website, then add social media, then a small newspaper advertisement, then add a promotional event, etc…. It is these small steps, that when combined over time, make up your marketing strategy and drives the direction and growth of your business.
I’m not sure how many of you watch Kitchen Nightmares, Restaurant Impossible or Hotel Impossible, or other shows like these, but if you do, there are a few resounding reasons why these businesses, which are featured on these particular shows, fail. Marketing or the lack thereof, is always one of the reasons.
It cannot be ignored. It cannot be put to the side. It cannot be feared. Marketing is a key element to the success or failure of your business and the longer you fail to invest in marketing, the longer your business will fail to reach its’ full potential.
I know I’ve said it before, but this is a topic that deserves to be revisited. As a business owner or entrepreneur, you know, there is a cost to running your own business. It starts from the day you file your business name and everyday there after.
Business owners know, “it takes money to make money.” So, why is it that so many of you can’t understand there is a cost for marketing? As always, I will be honest with you. Marketing is a service that will spend your money….period. It is what we do in marketing, find ways to spend your money, but what you must remember is, we are spending money to help you make money. If you are expecting an immediate dollar for dollar ROI (return on investment) when it comes to marketing, then you are being unrealistic. Marketing can have an exponential ROI, but it takes time to see those results.
During the Super Bowl, companies spend millions just for their product or service to be seen for a few seconds, so why are you complaining about spending a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars? You may be good at what you do, but if you don’t figure out a way to tell others about what you do, then you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. To have a business, and a successful one at that, you must be willing and have the financial means to implement effective marketing strategies. If you have a business and don’t have money to market your business, then you have a business that will not grow and if it doesn’t grow, it will die.
You can’t depend on “word of mouth” as your one and only marketing strategy. If word of mouth was so great, then McDonald’s, Geico, Allstate, Coca Cola, Target, Wal-Mart, ect….would not spend billions each and every year on marketing if they thought they could survive on “word of mouth”. So, if the big companies aren’t depending on “word of mouth”, then what makes you think you and your unknown business can survive on “word of mouth”?
I’m on a rant right now so I guess I’ll bring this to a close. Listen to the Mad Lady, learn how to market your business or hire a professional who can help you market your business. Don’t think of it as just spending money, but think of it as an investment in the success of your business. Take it from me, without money you won’t be able to afford marketing and without marketing your business will die.
A few days ago, I put one of my many thoughts on Facebook and it was well received by our Green Leaf Marketing fans. So, to expound upon that thought, I decided to delve more into the idea that sometimes, turning down business may be the best decision you can make for your business.
As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to find business prospects. So, when you finally find someone who is interested in doing business with you, it is exciting and rewarding. New prospects add validity to what you do and you find yourself wanting to do whatever it takes to get their business. After speaking with this potential client and having a better understanding of what they really want, you realize that what they want is outside the scope of what you do as a business.
So now you have one of two dilemmas:
1. Do you accept the job knowing full well you cannot do the job; which in the end will cause you to lose the client and possibly damage your business reputation?
2. Or do you turn the client down, keeping your integrity and good business reputation?
I say choose the latter. Remember, “All money ain’t good money”. It is always better to over deliver and under promise than to over promise and under deliver. If a client requires a service you do not provide or will not provide in the future, then it is best to walk away. In essence, you’re doing yourself and the client a favor by saying no and if necessary help the client find a business that can give them the service they need.
Being able to deliver on your promise to a client is the most important thing you can do in business.
As you know, the Mad Lady is quick to point out what you are doing wrong and can do better, but this time, the Mad Lady wants to send kudos to a small business owner who is doing all she can, given that she is operating with a limited budget.
Kudos, Cheesecake a La Mode, for putting it out there and making it happen. I attended a small celebration with a nice turnout at a local retail store – The Ultimate Dressing Room, where Cheesecake a La Mode was bringing about awareness and sharing the love of all things cheesecake on July 30th, as it was National Cheesecake Day. In celebration, Cheesecake a La Mode, a Houston based cheesecake company hosted a free cheesecake giveaway. She greeted you with a nice table setup, decorated with a variety of cheesecakes on display. There were cheesecake cups, chocolate covered cheesecake balls and yes, a beautiful chocolate covered cheesecake topped with strawberries. From the decorative display dishes to the food itself, everything was presented tastefully, (no pun intended). It was a great way for this small business owner to attract new customers by giving away free samples, and bring awareness to the national observance. My only critique is I wished more had been done in terms of advertising and marketing. This event could have benefited from more outdoor signage, flyers and a proactive street team inviting people to the event.
What Cheesecake a La Mode did was exactly what I had talked about in a previous post entitled “Give It Away”. Every piece of cheesecake she gave away had the potential of becoming a customer. Letting people sample your product is the best way to “put your money where your mouth is” (pun intended).
For the rest of you business owners, who have a product to sell, take a lesson from this post and “give it away”. Don’t forget to advertise your giveaway, so people will know about it and want to try what you have to offer. Partner with a local business owner so you can share the cost of marketing and advertising.
Be sure to make your event fun, informative and memorable.
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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