I count myself very lucky to be able to work alongside some very talented people, many of whom are mentioned on my recommendations list. I’ve invited a few of them to write guest posts which I think will be useful to my readers, and the first contributor to this new series is Karen Webber of Goodness Marketing.
Marketing for goodness’ sake
Wow, a marketing business owner telling small businesses to invest in marketing. What a shocker, right?! But bear with me.
If you’re a small business owner, you probably know that you need marketing if you want to be successful. You probably do marketing, but chances are you’re doing it haphazardly, inconsistently and with at least a bit of resentment and discomfort.
The love/hate relationship with marketing makes complete sense to me. What’s not to love about marketing that drives more sales? But I don’t blame anyone who feels a bit disgusted with what they may think marketing should be like.
We are told by so-called (and often self-styled) experts to use sleazy tactics to manipulate or low-level bully people into buying. Mainstream marketing preys on fears and a sense of scarcity, and has no qualms about bending the truth to get their point across.
What’s to love about that?
Well I’m here to tell you there’s another way to do marketing. I believe that you can be truthful and transparent in your marketing and still be successful. Instead of cheating your way to sales, you can do marketing that you actually enjoy – by focusing on building relationships with people, genuinely helping them and treating them with respect.
When you think of marketing in this way, it’s about connecting with people, not about constantly making a sale. It makes marketing fun, even if you don’t see yourself as a marketer as such. And guess what? The more you enjoy it, the more likely it is that you will get good results.
So here’s the first reason every small business should invest in marketing.
Marketing makes you money
OK, it’s nice to build relationships, but you are running a business, not a matchmaking service. So let’s be clear: done well, your investment in marketing will pay for itself many times over.
I say investment, because even if you don’t pay for marketing help, you likely spend hours crafting great email newsletters, replying to people on your Facebook page, creating amazing flat lay photos for Instagram…
So ask yourself whether the results you get from your investment (of time or money) are worth it.
Marketing should have a direct impact on the bottom line, whether through more sales, a stronger pipeline or a shorter buying funnel.
If this isn’t the case for you, ask yourself what you need to address in your strategy, execution or measurement.
Marketing gets you found
You can’t sell to people if they don’t even know you exist. Word of mouth is helpful, but very few businesses become successful only through word of mouth.
The best way to get found is to be where people look for you, and to be valuable to them there. That means knowing your audience and their needs, and solving their problems in a way that makes sense to them.
Solutions and genuine help will cut through the constant barrage of information we as consumers face.
Marketing makes your business stronger
Too many businesses think of marketing only as something that gets them new business. However, marketing is a powerful tool in increasing loyalty among your existing customers.
It makes great business sense to market to your existing customers. It’s widely accepted that it can cost as much as 5 times more to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing customer.
The selling success rate is also much higher among existing customers compared to new ones: 60-70% for existing ones compared to just 5-20% for new ones.
So using marketing to increase loyalty among those who already trust you is a powerful tool.
By investing in your existing community, you strengthen your relationship with them. This leads to more loyalty, but it also means you can listen more closely to their needs and adapt your offering accordingly.
A new marketing mindset
Some may refer to marketing as a necessary evil. I disagree. It’s absolutely necessary, but it definitely doesn’t have to be evil.
Marketing is about signposting people to things that they need or that will make their lives better. Marketing is about enabling you, the business owner, to fulfil your purpose and achieve your goals.
Marketing is the catalyst for a mutually beneficial transaction, where both parties are happy with the value exchange.
For businesses, it’s about telling your stories and selling your stuff without selling your soul.
There are better ways to do marketing, and they are just as effective and more enjoyable than what you’ve been told you “should” do to be successful in business.
If you want to hear more about a different way of doing marketing, feel free to sign up to my newsletter. I’ve recently revamped it and now send out The Goodness Marketing 10 every month. It’s a list of 10 things I have seen, read, heard, done or thought in the previous month, which I share in as few words as possible. Sign up here.