It’s a simple idea: the faster you sell your product or service, the less time and money you have to invest in marketing. The purpose of marketing in the end is to turn a lead into a sale. Yes, you want to get your product in front of people, let them know why they need your product in particular among a sea of similar products, but the end result is about the numbers. Who wants to be in the red?
For small businesses and marketers to succeed, certain rules must be followed. Here are the 4 most important marketing rules that need to be followed to stay in the black.
1. Don’t lose touch. You must keep the conversation and communication flowing. This doesn’t mean weekly or even monthly, but you need to communicate at least quarterly. Every other month works well for many companies, but pick the right schedule for you and your type of company.
People need groceries and household items like tissues more often than they need an oil change for their car. Adjust your “stay in touch” communication accordingly to how often people need your product. Don’t let your customers forget your product in the midst of the thousands of ads they see every day. By sending a postcard or greeting card, or even calling to make sure your customer doesn’t need anything, you can keep your product in the front of the customer’s minds without being annoying.
2. Create a marketing calendar. This should be part of any marketing plan. You need to fill in your calendar with what kind of marketing you plan on doing at what time of the year. You should include what messages you want to communicate at certain times of the year. You don’t have to write out your message verbatim, but you should have a general idea of how often you mention it’s time for an oil change and how you can tweak the message to match the surrounding holidays or seasons.
3. Get ahead of your competitors. Every business and product has a competitor. You might think you don’t, but it’s hard to believe that any business doesn’t have some indirect competition. And that competition means that you have to fight for customers. Do your research on prospects and get your info in front of them. Whether that means with direct mail, billboards, flyers or whatever, make sure your marketing is wherever your competitors are, or better yet, where they will be.
4. Hire a marketing firm or pro to help you out. There’s no shame in asking for help. If you don’t know how to market, seek help. If you’ve never done any marketing before, this is essential. You can learn so much from a pro that you can’t read in a book, or even on the Internet, I hate to say. You can learn a lot from reading, but until you’ve gone through the process alongside a pro, you don’t know what you don’t know.