If you want to develop great marketing, which will work hard for your business for years and years, today’s post is just for you.
The people who built the castle in today’s photo built it to last. That was way back in the year 1297. It took planning, time, hard work, money and brains. The end result is a building that was so well constructed that it was still being used as a home until the 1960′s. In fact, with a little work it could easily he used as a home again, over 700 years after it was built.
Marketing that’s built to last
Many small business owners only take their marketing seriously, when something drives them into action. It can be the loss of a major client, a change to their income requirements or the sudden realisation that their business has reached a plateau. Faced with this, they go from tick-over mode to proactive marketing. They adopt a tactical approach and usually try:
- Email marketing / mail shots
- Social media marketing
Then, once the immediate crisis has been averted they step back into their usual routine. Marketing is no longer a priority. In essence, marketing is something they do reactively when something goes wrong. It’s not a part of the DNA of their business. It’s not woven into everything they do.
The problem with reactive, tactical marketing
The challenge with a reactive, tactical approach to marketing is that you start from zero each time. You have no relationship with the person receiving your marketing message. It’s a sluggish, low leverage and expensive way to build a business.
The following is a very recent example of how someone using a longer term, strategic approach gained me as a client.
Proactive, strategic marketing in action
I wrote yesterday about how I changed email service providers, upgrading from Feedburner to Mailchimp. As soon as Feedburner’s problems became apparent, a number of email providers started pestering me with sales pitches. None of them were known to me, so they were contacting me as strangers, with a product I knew nothing about.
Now, whilst those guys were selling (at) me, I was thinking of the email providers I already knew of. The stand out provider for my needs, was Mailchimp. Here’s why:
- I instantly knew their logo and felt good about what it represented.
- Over the years I have regularly seen reports and blog posts from them regarding email marketing best practices, which were useful and informative.
- I’d signed up for newsletters, which people had built using their software and they always arrived on time and looked great.
- Their approach to business and customer service is professional and also a lot of fun.
So, I opened an account with them. It was easy for me to do, because I already felt like I knew them. By strategically, proactively adding value to their marketplace on an ongoing basis, they had sown the seeds that motivated me to hire them.
Ongoing, strategic marketing builds relationships
Mailchimp had earned my attention because of their contribution to their marketplace. Their ongoing, strategic approach to marketing had positioned them in my mind as a trustworthy provider. The companies I’d never heard of, who suddenly started interrupting be with their messages, were simply pestering me. I didn’t know them. They were starting from scratch with me. No credibility had been earned. There was no relationship between their brand and me.
I know you are busy
I know that as a small business owner, you are busy and that it’s not always easy to find time to regularly deliver useful, valuable marketing for your marketplace. However, by developing a marketing strategy and working on it as an ongoing part of your business, you will find it easier to attract regular, good quality clients and sales leads. This approach is also the perfect antidote to the feast and famine problem, that so many small business owners struggle with.
In short: Make marketing an ongoing element of your day to day business and build relationships with people, before they even know they need you.