Marketers are a creative bunch, and we like to create new things. But sometimes the pursuit of the “new” can go overboard. I started thinking about all the different kinds of “marketing” I’ve experienced, and the list began to get a bit ridiculous. Below are the kinds of marketing I thought of in the last few minutes. Have you heard of them all? Are there any others I forgot?
Social Media Marketing
The problem is that marketing doesn’t really work when it’s so highly segmented. Customers don’t care about the differences between a business’s loyalty marketing efforts and social media marketing strategy. And a customer doesn’t know when they’re being targeted by the web marketing team or the traditional marketing team.
To the customer, it’s all just marketing… even the activities that the marketing team aren’t responsible for, like billing.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you call your marketing, as long as it all works together to help you customer have a great experience.
Micro-managing is the pitfall of too many small businesses. It may be counter-intuitive that you must let go a little for your business to grow. After all, perfection can only be achieved if you manage it, right? If your team has the power to make decisions, won’t they only screw things up?
Wrong. If your team feels empowered, they will think of ideas you never dreamed of.
Your small business will never grow unless you develop a team who share the same business vision and are empowered to make the vision a reality. I’ve seen many small businesses stagnate because their owners weren’t able to communicate, delegate and relinquish authority to their teams. Your team can consist of employees, independent contractors and vendors.
Micro-managing means managing the small stuff. As a small business owner, you should be concerned with things such as the company vision or strategies for the upcoming year. Here are some ways to avoid micro-managing. They may not seem like large infractions, but think of the time wasted that could be put towards valuable business growth activities.
Always think, “Is this the most important thing I could be doing right now?” Management expert Peter Drucker wrote, “Doing the right things is more important than doing things right.”
Unless you own a graphic design firm, don’t ever question a font again. Instead, employ designers who have the freedom to design what your customers want- not what you want.
Don’t spend an hour on the phone with an accounting software vendor when you will never use the software. Let your bookkeeper make these decisions. The same rule applies to any kind of purchase.
If your sales team has a bold new idea to reach customers, let them try it out on a limited scale. Avoid “talking it to death” at all costs.
I joined David Weatherholt on his weekly radio show “Getting Down to Business” to help his listeners measure their marketing. Listen to see how your small business stacks up! Then listen for our advice on improving your small business marketing. David and I both specialize in small business issues, because we know your issues are unique and require a different strategic focus from large companies.
In the beginning segment of “Getting Down to Business,” host Dave Weatherholt interviews Todd Clark, founder and president of DenaliTEK, an Anchorage-based IT consulting firm. Todd credits his business’ success to an effective Mission and Vision Statement. He was able to use these credos to build a company culture, create excitement in employees and improve the customer experience. Todd also added, “If you don’t have happy employees, you won’t have happy clients.”
Later in the show, I analyze what makes an effective Mission and Vision Statement. I explain how DenaliTEK uses their Mission and Vision Statement as an internal marketing strategy to create strong beliefs about their organization’s purpose and future. DenaliTEK has built a very strong internal brand. It is especially impressive how Todd developed a set of criteria called, “The 10 Keys to Success,” that DenaliTEK uses to evaluate prospective employees to determine if they will help build the culture. The company lives its brand every day.
Not every company is this successful in implementing their Mission and Vision. Many times, these items are left as bullet points in the dust-heap of executives’ PowerPoint slides, never to become implemented. Another pitfall is making them too vague, so that in trying to say everything, they communicate nothing.
In this podcast, Gerhard Vierthaler and I talk with David Weatherholt, host of “Getting Down to Business,” about sales strategy and cold calling.
I advocate turning your marketing towards yourself to help all employees realize their roles in the sales process. A strong internal brand will improve your profitability, employee performance and your work environment.
Fortunately, small businesses are especially equipped to develop compelling internal brands. They are usually tight-knit organizations with a cohesive culture that can be harnessed to achieve a common company goal.