Marketing is a discipline in business which is largely misunderstood. This isn’t just confined to the SME sector where there is a clear lack of skills and knowledge surrounding the “dark art”. Many large corporates make massive mistakes with their marketing strategy and quite often this is down to an inconsistency in marketing activity on an ongoing basis. This blog is designed to show you why it is more important to have an ongoing level of continuous marketing investment/activity, rather than an ad-hoc approach with waves of investment, which most businesses tend to do.
1. Avoids peaks and troughs
This is mainly applicable to the SME market, and particular micro businesses where the responsibility of both securing the business and delivering the business is down to the same person – the owner. What tends to happen is that when things are quiet there is a considerable marketing push to win new work, when the work is won then all the focus is on delivering the work – meanwhile there is no activity surrounding winning more work. This means that when things go quiet again there is another big push. But wouldn’t it be good if it never went quiet? Having an ongoing marketing activity plan, which is not reliant on the business owner, ensures that lead generation activity is always happening even when the business owner is dealing with other things.
2. Don’t lose visibility to competitors
Put very simply, if you are not presenting your business to your target market, someone else will be. We have seen many large organisations go through periods marketing investment with huge integrated campaigns and waves of advertising activity. However then they stop and someone else takes over the mantle. OK sometimes the campaigns are specifically for “brand awareness” purposes, but audiences have very short memories. Rather than shouting the loudest for a very short period and then going into years of a silent wilderness it is much better to maintain a healthy conversation over a longer period. Online is a classic example – stop investing in your content and website and you will soon slip down the rankings – and your online enquiries will soon dry up as well.
3. Timing is everything
When do clients engage with your business? The answer is always the same….when they are ready! Usually it can be very difficult to understand when that will be and it will vary greatly depending on circumstance. Therefore rather than agressively selling and marketing for a short period, make sure that you maintain a presence and visibility over a longer period, so when a client is ready to engage with your business – you are the first company that they think of.
4. Maintains marketing momentum
Momentum is one of the hardest things to get going and it can feel tough in the early days as you try to get that heavy marketing flywheel moving. However after a period of sustained marketing it become much easier to maintain momentum and keep the enquiry pipeline and cashflow in the business flowing. If you lose momentum you can expect to have to go through that tough period to build it up again – which in the long term will cost you more in terms of time, effort and money.
5. Ensures the business is growing
By linking marketing investment closely with your sales performance means that you will create an ever increasing cycle. As you marketing begins to work and generate sales, your income increases and even by maintaining the same percentage investment, your marketing spend will naturally increase fuelling further sales growth. This is, of course, as long as your marketing strategy is sound and that you are investing into the right areas. We appreciate not everyone wants to grow their business, for some it is purely a lifestyle business. But for those with growth ambitions, a sustained marketing investment allows you to focus on the other areas of your business to ensure you can cope with sustained growth.
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