Marketing is my happy place. I love everything about the industry from how fast-paced it is to the constant evolution of it; I love never having the opportunity to get bored. It's such an important ingredient of a business's success. From small family-owned companies to Fortune 500 corporations, everybody needs it.
The word "marketing" is kind of a broad term that encompasses a lot of different actions: public relations, branding, promoting, community engagement and the list goes on. Marketing is NOT sales (no, really, it's not). Marketing leads to sales. Marketing is NOT advertising.
Over the years I have found there is a handful of misconceptions about this topic. Here are four common examples:
1. "You have to make money"
Big, fat negative. "You have to invest wisely if you want to make money."
Let's look at this a different way. Let's say you wake up one day and decide you want to be really good at baseball, even though you have never even held a bat before. Do you buy every piece of baseball equipment you can find, go to the batting cages, set down all of your shiny, new equipment right in front of you, and expect it to magically transform you into a professional baseball player, without you doing anything? Of course not. I've seen so many companies spend so much money on an insane amount of the "trendy new marketing tools" and then expect those tools to work on their own. You have to have a marketing plan, and then that plan has to be implemented and followed through consistently, from beginning to end. Follow-through and consistency are so important to any company's marketing strategy, regardless of how much money you're spending on it.
2. "I'm just waiting for..."
Momentum. It's all about momentum. Can you skip a rock across a lake by gently tossing it and waiting for the wind to take care of it? Sure can't. While you're waiting on the wind, 1,000 other rocks are flying right past you.
3. "Well, I have this friend that does it for me..." (or, "I have a nephew who knows how to")
Everything that represents your business is important and should be consistent. Business cards, your website, the appearance of your office/showroom and employees, your brochures and other collateral, your email marketing campaigns and correspondence, and even the tone of your social media posts should all be cohesively branded and strategically aligned. I can tell you with 100 percent certainty I have never given someone a compliment on their website, video or email campaign and heard in response their cousin or nephew did the work. Taking the "quick-fix" route rather than properly investing in professionally created marketing strategies and tactics will eventually lead to a lot of lost money, frustration for yourself and precious time that could be better spent with your customers, doing what you do best. Invest in the small things (and larger things) the right way, because I promise, it makes a big difference in the long run.
4. "I'll get to it after..."
Marketing is one of those things that can so easily take a back seat in a lot of companies. If your marketing efforts are inconsistent, it can create a "feast or famine" effect. When we are busy with clients or customers, we aren't too concerned about maintaining our pipeline of new business. But any good business owner will tell you your pipeline of potential clients is THE most important part of your business. It makes sense to feel overwhelmed by being so busy with work. That's a great problem to have, BUT they say a fish will only grow as big as its tank! Prioritize your business and your marketing strategies to keep your business healthy.