Creating A Marketing System
Did you know that there is a taboo word in business?
That word begins with “M” and it’s a word that every small business owner knows they should do, but so many don’t. That’s right, you’ve guessed it, the word is “Marketing”. Small business owners don’t really like that word. It brings up too many bad thoughts like “where do I start?” and “I’m not sure what to do”. And let’s face it, there’s plenty more stuff that a business owner could do rather than the “M” word...
So, how do you take the headache out of marketing? Is there a way of getting away with doing as little marketing as possible and still getting all the business that you want?
Well, yes there is – if (and only if) you’re prepared to put in a bit of hard work at the beginning. Are you ready for that? Then sit back and read on because I’m about to tell you the secret of marketing.
Put a system in place.
Yes, that’s right. That’s the secret. Put in place a system so that when you turn the handle, it works for you every time and pops out the results you want.
The hard work is getting the system in place so that it does work for you consistently.
Here’s how you do it. Firstly, go and look at where all your customers are currently coming from. Are they coming from networking events; because they’ve seen an advert; or is someone referring them to you? Get specific here. Which networking event are they coming from? Who is referring them to you? If you don’t know or you’re not sure, your first task is to ask people – from now on, every person who comes into contact with your business, ask them how they heard about you (even if they don’t buy from you). Pretty soon, you’ll have built up a picture of what marketing is working for you and what’s not.
Now’s the time to concentrate on the marketing that is working for you and put in place a system to make it work more. In your system, you want to have a method of getting people to know about your business, capturing contact details and following up with those people so that they buy more.
So, if you were running a pub for instance, you might find out from asking customers that some local adverts you’d done were working for you (getting people to know about you). You might then run competitions and comment cards to capture people’s contact details. You might then send out a newsletter to keep building up a relationship with those people and offer them special discounts or treats if they refer other people. Pretty soon, you’ve got a system in place that doesn’t take a lot of time to do, but that keeps new customers and repeat customers coming in through the door.
What if you run an alternative therapy business and you found out leaflets were working well for you? You could change your leaflets so that people could enter a competition to win a free session if they filled their details out and returned the leaflet to you (capturing contact details). Once you’d built a database, you could send them a loyalty card or regular tips sheet to build a relationship with them.
A business consultant could give talks on their subject and offer a free tips sheet in return for contact details. Everyone could then be followed up with a phone call to see if they’d like a free consultation after the event.
A website designer could use pay per click to drive people to their website and then offer subscription to a newsletter to capture contact details. They could then send out that newsletter on a regular basis to build up a relationship with them.
Do you see how in the above examples, we’ve just used a few marketing methods, but they are much more
effective because they form an overall strategy rather than working individually? In each example, we’ve set up a marketing system that makes people aware of your business, collects their contact details and then regularly follows up with these people to build a relationship with them. This type of system can be adapted for any business – how could you adapt it to yours?
The final step is to regularly monitor your marketing system so see how well it’s working for you – it does take time to get these things right, but if your system needs some amendments, remember to just tweak it first, rather than changing the whole thing.