You’re in business to make a go of the life of an entrepreneur, you told yourself it was the best decision for you, and you were right – weren’t you? Or may be you work in the marketing department of a business. Things were once great, fired up from your hard work and word of mouth referrals, but things have become stagnant or better yet slowing up and you don’t know where to start?
I’ve heard this from other business owners and marketing managers just like you, I’ve also been through tough times, people saying to you why don’t you go back to getting a J.O.B (just over broke) or a different job, and its burning away at you. Bills, overheads and your team don’t seem to step up to the plate to help guide your ship toward success…
So what’s the answer?
Let’s be honest for a moment – are you up for this? Do you actually want to make change to where your business is headed, if not stop reading and go find a job…
But, If you do want to take your business by the scruff of the neck and move things on in a huge way you need to start with BIG but simple steps.
Let’s take it back to basics
When you first started out or when business was booming, remember there was a focus and probably a demand? You had customers wanting your products and services? You knew the answer to your customer’s problems and you could fix them too.
That is the clue… Where now you need to re-FOCUS and move the next level.
Follow One Course Until Successful
If you once had success but now it’s slowed has your marketing activity also slowed? Have you stepped back from marketing? If you’re marketing but the results have dropped have you re-analysed who you’re pitching your message to?
To make the same strides you once did and to move your business to the next level with regard to the marketing you must make your customers the centre of your Universe. When it comes to your philosophy, what I mean is that you need to review your entire process of marketing;
- Products and services review, are they right for your customers?
- What products do you need to archive or remove from your offering? Is your pricing right?
- Target audience review, what niches within your target customer group can you serve?
- Has the audience you once served so well in the past changed?
- Marketing Audit review, what strategies did you previously use and what work? Think – Website, Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click Marketing, Social Media, Blogging, Flyers, Sales Letters, Video, Podcasts, Bill Boards, Yellow Pages
- Will the same strategies work now? Allowing you to be effective in reaching your target audience, offering you knowledge on the impact on of a particular campaign on that target audience and will the investment of marketing return a profit?
Powerful questions you must answer, in order to start on the renewed path to marketing success.
Now with the answers to the above points you can put your plan of action together.
Note: Answering those questions above would normally be a 60-90 minute exercise, don’t rush it let the creativity in you run free.
“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”
― Albert Einstein
Strategic Marketing Plan
Now you can put pen to paper or as Hannibal would say “I love it when a plan comes together!” This one is for the 80’s babies reading (The guy in the picture at the top of this post).
OK, lets start small, get a piece of paper and draw 8 columns, first column header, Target Audience, Then put the current month in the next column, fill in the next 3 upcoming months, then finally add; Results, Total cost and Acquisition per customer.
This should give you something that is starting to look like a quarterly rolling plan right? Good.
Now fill it in. Here’s a free one to fill in (PDF).
Focus – Continual Marketing will reap Success
If you stop marketing it’s because you’ve decided to go backwards and your business is not in a good place, but you can change this, now you have tools.
Continual never ending marketing is the key to continued success with marketing and sales.
You see, without continued activity you hit the peaks and troughs of cash-flow, which in any business is a pain in the rear end, where as if you continually market your business – lets says you create blogs like this that reach out to your target audience, you create a quarterly printed news letter or an email campaign that goes out weekly or monthly, or lets say your pay per click campaigns run on auto pilot. With this concept of focus and continual marketing is there will be constant activity to attract in customers.
>> think DISCIPLINE.
Each quarter review your results and evolve, working even harder on the things that work.
Where you will find success
In my years as a business owner and Internet Marketing it’s the focused, strategic and disciplined businesses and individuals that succeed, it’s a simple concept and this is why it’s the truth, anything else is just waffle. You and I are in the success industry may be in different niches or industries but the thought process is the same. I urge you to take action and be un-relenting or as the words on the back of my office door say…
“You should be grateful for what you have. But your appetite for success must be unrelenting, STAY HUNGRY”.
What are your thoughts? do you have some great tips to share with others, if you do I would love to read them, please comment below.