I’m sure you’ll agree that marketing is an essential part of any business. Without it, the business dies. So, with this in mind, what is the biggest marketing mistake made by business owners that is stopping them and possibly you, from gaining more business success?
The answer is simple…but not easy!
You’ve probably heard many times that we are currently in the information age. Information is so easily available today compared to 20 or 50 years ago.
If you are a regular visitor to this website, then you will have gained many insights from the plethora of articles already posted. It’s a superb example of what’s available in the information age.
So essentially you have access to the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, so why are so many business owners struggling with marketing? Why on earth are you still suffering rather than reaping the benefits of all that is readily available to you?
It’s not that there isn’t enough information to help you. So, what is the issue?
The truth of the matter is that many of you are simply failing to APPLY the knowledge. There can be many reasons for this however, the two key aspects I see time and again is:
- the failure to plan
- the failure to take action
How do you plan your marketing?
Most of us use diaries in business. Generally, we book appointments. However, do any of you make an appointment with yourself and your marketing team (if you have one) to plan your marketing activities? If not, you should. Unless you have scheduled regular, blocked out time for marketing, you will always fall back into your comfort zone and complete other tasks first such as answering your emails.
If you are a sole trader, partnership or small business, then you need to accept that you have multiple roles to perform. As such, it is important that your time is divided correctly and booked into your diary. Marketing is the engine or heart of your business, without it, you cannot create a customer. And, the purpose of any business is to create and retain a customer.
If you fail to block out sufficient time, then you must do one of two things…hire someone who will do your marketing for you or look for a job! I’m not being harsh, just realistic. If you fail to market your business, then you are already suffocating it and it is only a matter of time before your business will take its last breath.
Here’s what you need to do…
1) Book out time in your diary every day.
How much time? If you are a start-up business, I would suggest around 40% of your day as you will need the extra to create the infrastructure, systems and marketing. An established business should spend around 20-30% on marketing, depending on what it sells. If you haven’t the time, then you have to make some by working additional hours, possibly evenings and weekends. It’s that important!
You should be marketing every day and ideally do this before you begin looking at your personal Facebook or emails. I also recommend blocking a bigger chunk of time for the more heavy duty marketing tasks that require planning.
3) Structure your time well.
You need to think about who you are marketing to. For existing businesses, around 25-30% of your time should be marketing to existing customers. They need updates, new information, telling them about forthcoming events that should be of interest to them, re-confirmation of the quality of goods already purchased etc.
Around 20% of your time should be spent nurturing. This is marketing to prospects who have not yet become customers, to help them understand more, show that you care about them and their needs. The other group this applies to are those existing customers who haven’t repurchased from you, or bought for some considerable time.
The biggest chunk of your time should be on lead generation. This is getting the prospects identified and into the marketing funnel. Understand the dynamic in your business:
- who is your ‘ideal customer’?
- what is your conversion rate from lead to customer?
- how long does it usually take you to convert your leads?
Finally, you need block time out for planning and evaluation. This is deciding on the who, what, where and how that you will carry out to the various targets as described above. It’s better to plan in one block of time and then implement in another. It gives your brain time to create ideas and thoughts on how you will use this time well.
Evaluation is important too – it’s the only way you truly know whether your activities have been appreciated, with the reward being more business. Sometimes there are trickles and these signs are important. This possibly tells you that doing more of the same activity can open up the trickle into a regular river of prospects and new customers.
I began this article saying that we are in the information age. So, let’s remove the excuses and understand that it is the lack of APPLICATION of knowledge through poor planning and time management that is the cause of a poor sales situation in business. I urge you to ensure your marketing is scheduled into your activities – book it into your diary every day, without fail. The more you do, the more you know. The more you know, the better you are at doing it which eventually results in huge success.
Good luck to you!Are you making the biggest marketing mistake, stopping you from gaining more business success? Click To Tweet