One Ad is not Marketing
Marketing is important. If you want people to know who you are and what you do you have to market your company. Think about it, if people don’t know your name, if they don’t know what you do, if they don’t know how to reach you, how are you going to get any business?
Would you open a store on a busy street and not put up a sign?
Would you start selling sweaters on line without a web site?
Would you open up a new medical practice without an announcement in the local paper?
Would you start making PCB boards and not tell anyone? Oh, wait a minute that is exactly what you are doing if you don’t market your company.
And yes, unfortunately one ad is not a marketing campaign, in fact it is not marketing at all.
Marketing is telling your story and then communicating it to your marketplace, people who can use your product.
A good friend of mine Keith Robbins uses a perfect example of the difference between sales and marketing. Selling is putting your line in the water and hoping you will catch a fish; marketing is getting the fish to jump into the boat.
Marketing is telling and communicating your story in such a compelling way that people are going to want to do business with you.
Marketing is defining your business, your company and your product in a manner that not only explains who you are and what you do, but also why people should want to buy from you.
And most of all marketing is a mosaic. A good and effective marketing plan is made up of many parts all of them synergistically connected.
The message conveyed by your advertising is connected to the message on your web site which is connected to the message relayed by your newsletter which is connected to the message conveyed by your press releases, articles, white papers, interviews, trade show booth graphics, brochures and literature, signage and yes even your business cards.
All these things are ingredients of your overall corporate marketing plan, and it all boils down to the impression you want to deliver to your marketplace
So, you see one ad does not make a marketing plan. Anyone who puts one ad in a magazine and then expects to get business is fooling himself.
Here are five steps you must take to develop a good and effective marketing plan:
- Tell that story. This is the basis of all your marketing. Who started the company? Why did they start the company? What need does the company fill? Who needs the company? What makes the company outstanding? Why should people buy from the company and what company characteristics make the company distinctive? Use all of this information to draw up your company’s unique story. Make sure the story is compelling. Remember your goal is to get people to want to buy from you. As examples think of Tiffany’s, Nordstrom’s, L.L. Bean, Disney, and the best of them all Apple.
- Develop the ideal customers. This means you need to know who will benefit from your products and services? What kind of people and companies will like what you are selling? In short who will see value in what you are selling.
- Find out where these people go for thier information. What magazines do they read? What web sites do they visit? What trade shows do they attend? What other forms of media do they habituate to learn about products like yours. Once you establish this then use these venues for communicating your story.
- Develop a communication plan that will send your story out to all the right people using the information you learned in step 3. Make up a budget that will effectively and economical get your story out to the right people at the right time.
- Consistency is the key. Your message should be consistent and you should deliver it consistently. Marketing is a long-term ordeal. It is not something you do for a couple of months and then walk away. You should be constantly spreading the word about your company and your products and services. You should also study the results. Decide what media best suits you. What facet of your story gets the best results? Always be analyzing what works and what does not work and spend your time and money on what works.
And one more, in the spirit of under promise and over deliver. Establish a following, a tribe as Seth Godin calls it. Publish a value-added newsletter to your customers and your potential customers. Ask everyone you meet if they would be interested in receiving your newsletter and then make the newsletters compelling enough that these people, your tribe, will read every one of them. And, once you have their attention, one you get your readership up, you can start educating your readers first-hand on what you do and how it will benefit them. This is called “permission marketing” where your customers and potential customers are actually giving you permission to send them information about your company on a regular basis. Now that is marketing.
There is one simple rule of marketing and that is: people need to to know who you are if they are going to buy from you. It’s only common sense.