This was the recap of the blog I posted on Merchant Circle earlier this month.
Today business owners have so many more options in marketing. Questions that come up during conversations… “Should I spend my day blogging or checking Facebook? How about LinkedIn? Local website marketing? Is print dead or the best place for a bargain? Should I spend money on direct mail? What about my website – how much information should I put there? How often should I update information…” the list goes on and on. These are all good questions – while the answers are case specific – are you looking for visibility or sales?
Ahhh – so many questions, so little money (or time) to try them all. My first suggestion is “STOP TRYING MARKETING!”
Personally I hate the word try. Trying is weak, and you’re already expecting to fail (or receive minimal success). Both advertising sales people and consultants say “Let’s try this – or that” Business owners think “if it doesn’t succeed it was his/her idea – I’m just following orders…” Belch – time to get rid of that thinking.
Many business owners are confused about website marketing. Most of our consultations center on using on-line marketing to get the most out of a small marketing budget.
Traffic, visibility, hits, eyes – website owners call it different words, but it’s all about people clicking on a link to visit your website or ad. My opinion – most of the time branding a company through advertising is a waste of time. People buy from people, and the mood of the country is “don’t trust anyone, especially a business.” You can’t buy credibility with print, web or traditional advertising. Put a bio, picture and map – put a human face on your website.
Next idea for a business owner – have a happy customer or colleague recommend your business or services. Word of mouth advertising is really important for small budgets. One caveat – you can’t buy great press – but you can be devastated by bad web press.
Be aware consumers are brazen with their opinions on the web – it’s still anonymous and everyone has a comment. Many websites (Yahoo Local, Yelp, Etc.) allow consumers an opportunity to post their opinion about anything. One dissatisfied customer can blow-up the best website marketing plan with a low customer rating or bad opinion.
Last thought for today – have you developed a customer mailing list to share news? Write an an e-zine monthly, put a blog together. There are so many places in the world where you can control the marketing message for low cost. Those are usually really effective, but lower cost means a longer time frame.
Well that’s enough for today – Stay busy and make money.
To your success…