Are Your Marketing Campaigns as Good as Your Marketing Plan?

Marketing implementation is just as important as strategy

Does your business have a great marketing plan that identifies who your customers are, what is important to them and how to reach them? As important as your plan is, it’s not enough if your implementation team isn’t just as strong. Here’s an example.

While shopping for a new car, I could tell Toyota had put some effort into making their sales team and showroom friendly towards women and how they buy. The salesperson made sure to make plenty of eye contact with me and ask me as many questions as he asked my husband. He gave us privacy and space to discuss our options. He was the opposite of the stereotypical car salesman– and his support staff were just as competent. It seems Toyota has invested in training programs to make their dealerships more women-friendly.

But their marketing communications team was much too literal in their interpretation of the marketing plan. Their commercials, with a strangely overt message announcing, “We are women and kid friendly!” were almost offensive, like the Toyota dealership was overly conscious of the difference between men and women, or they were grouping women and kids into the same category. Here’s a video from the same dealership that shows a similar misunderstanding of the marketing strategy, with service technicians stumbling around in high heels.

It’s important for all of your marketing efforts to coordinate and tell the same story– or you might end up like Kings Toyota, with a great sales experience but commercials that drive your customers away.

Small Business: Marketing with Personality

Small businesses have a great marketing advantage over large businesses: built in personality. Large companies strive to develop personalities with expensive advertising and PR campaigns– think Apple (I’m a Mac), Wal-Mart (Power to the Savers) and Toyota (the Swagger Wagon family). But if you have a small business, you are the personality (for better or worse).

Why is personality a great small business marketing tool? By showing your personality, you give customers something to be loyal to. Loyalty can’t be bestowed on products or services, but people are loyal to other people and organizations. Loyal customers will buy more from you and rave more to their friends. You just need to show them some personality.

What have you done lately to infuse the best parts of your personality into your small business?