MARKETING--PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PROMOTION KEYS
• They will believe they are not fully in control of their business
• External conditions determine their fates and fortunes
• They will be in mystery about what is happening
• They will take the wrong actions to solve problems
• Live with low income
• Suffer from poor management
• Lose hard won gains
What is not clearly understood about keeping a business growing is that there are two areas of marketing that have to be actively worked on and closely monitored by two separate departments.
- Promoting for new customers
- Promoting to existing and past customers
These are two entirely different publics and require different actions on both. The products and services are different as well. What products or services you entice new customers in with can be different than those you promote to existing and past customers. In a small business that has reached a ceiling, that is usually contracting, is most likely lacking separate marketing departments and often the marketing actions are not consistent nor monitored closely as Owners and Senior Executives are often down in the production departments of their business. But let’s put this point aside and just look at marketing which includes promotion and public relations.
GETTING NEW CUSTOMERS:
Public relations (PR), is the action of establishing goodwill for the business in the community and promotion is the action of advertising what products and services, you have to offer. Goodwill is established before advertising actions begin. These are ongoing actions and not just done when opening a business, they have to be continued in an ever increasing amount.
It is in the best interest of the staff and Execs to always continue these PR actions to continue and expand the goodwill of the business in the community. People will be more interested in your advertising and your products and services when you have helped in the community. PR and creating goodwill is helping without the need for exchange. Promotion and advertising is letting people know what you are selling and what the fees are. You can waste a lot of money on advertising in your community if no goodwill has previously been established. People prefer to buy from people they know and trust and word of mouth spreads quickly.
KEEPING EXISTING AND PAST CUSTOMERS:
Here you are staying in constant contact with present and past customers, giving them helpful advice as well as reminding them of your what products and services you have as well as any newly developed ones.
Both areas will generate continued business but have to be both actively worked on simultaneously and the amount of promotion done, closely monitored and all statistics kept.
Business is a numbers game. It has little to nothing to do with the public state of mind. Success in business, has everything to do with the high quality of your products, services and continually letting the public know you have these available. If this is not known and understood by the Business Owners and Execs, they will have an unpredictable business, as it will go up and down.
We understand the Business Owners’ and Executives stresses in organization and offer our support in the marketing arena as this is the key area that puts the future there for every business.
MARKETING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
With Marketing you want to attract as much attention as possible. When you hear internet marketing terms such as: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, direct response mail etc., you may feel confused and a little out of your league on how to utilize these marketing tools? If so, you may feel you need to hire an “expert” to get it all going for you because you don’t know where to start. Yes, in this day and age you do need a website and you definitely need someone that knows what they are doing to create it but It does not have to be extravagantly built to attract new clients and be effective.
You may believe that the traditional ways of promoting your business are not going to work as well anymore and cease a lot of the “old fashioned” ways of marketing as a result. This could be a big mistake.
The point you have to remember is that marketing is for the purpose of getting you the exposure you need to your target public. Attracting new clients is still a numbers game, although the numbers are a lot more than they were 30 years ago, it is still a matter of constant promotion and advertising to increase your visibility resulting in more leads, sales and income.
A common error in a small business is thinking your business will continue to expand on word of mouth promotion alone as that is how you may have built your business in the beginning. The problem with word of mouth or referral based promotional actions is that if any executives or owners get bored with the business, the word of mouth momentum can downturn rather rapidly as the delivery will begin to deteriorate and the numbers may begin to drop.
The solution is to build up your marketing divisions, to which there can be many in a large company, so that the volume of people interested in your products and services is so great that that any weak area in the business will be exposed rapidly, giving you a chance to handle before seeing too much of a dip in the income.
If the promotional actions of a business are not effective, no amount of internal organization is going to overcome that weakness and this can be very frustrating to any business owner. Consultants often fail their clients if they don’t correctly evaluate the marketing actions of a business, especially if that business is on a decline, when beginning their consulting services.
What should your marketing budget be? For the first 6 months or so, when starting a new business or reinventing an existing one, it could be up to 25% of your income. This is, primarily, because you are relying on a continuous stream of brand new customers and as well as trial and error on finding out what marketing actions work and don’t work. Once you have some momentum you can promote more economically to existing and past customers and as a result can drop your percentage down to 7 to 8%. You are going to have to invest more money into personnel to deliver more products and services and administer an expanding business. This is also a period where staff has to be trained and organized out of a “hey you” hectic and chaotic scene into a fully coordinated activity. It can take up to 2 years sometimes to achieve that internal stability. Once you have that internal organization in hand and out of that stressful, barely coping period, you can then gradually increase your marketing budget up 15% and keep it around there from there on out.
Here is my message to you. You cannot just organize your way into expansion, you have to understand that organization is only required because you are driving so much business in that you have to organize internally in order to be able to deliver high quality products at a rapid rate. Any slump in a business is always preceded by inadequate marketing.
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From this you will find out how effective your website and internet marketing and regular marketing actions are and what you need to do to improve them.