Where do you most need to focus your marketing?
Another area on the workshop we looked at was where
you most need to focus your marketing attention. Given
that many small and medium businesses have limited budgets
and perhaps most of all limited time, the answer to this
question is of major importance. So how do most businesses
allocate their marketing resources? Typically this is
done annually as part of an overall business plan, but
how often are the decisions simply based relative to
the previous year, i.e. we’ll spend 10% more on
advertising and 20% more on direct mailings? Alternatively,
if there is no plan/budget, it is perhaps easy to be
persuaded by those marketing to us – their advertising
space, their business directories, telesales, PR campaign
C.J. Hayden, an author and popular speaker in the USA
, talks about what she calls the Universal Marketing
Cycle, which is in fact a mixture of marketing and sales
steps that businesses typically need to undertake to
win business. These steps are: filling the pipeline,
follow-up, getting presentations and closing the sale.
This is a process that becomes a cycle, as at each stage,
if you are unsuccessful (as well as after actually providing
the service/product), the prospect/client goes back into
your follow-up “pot”, to be contacted again
in 1,3 or 6 months’ time, as agreed with them.
The point at which you most typically get stuck in this
cycle is where you need to focus your marketing attention.
Simply speaking, if you don’t have enough leads
and people to contact, you need to work on filling your
pipeline. If on the other hand you already have lots
of contacts on your database that you haven’t spoken
to for months, you need to work on follow-up (see October’s Insights – a
system for staying in touch). If you’re good at
follow-up, but aren’t getting the opportunity to
demonstrate your wares, you need to work on getting presentations.
And finally, if you’re making lots of presentations,
but not winning the business, your attention needs to
be on closing the sale.
Hayden goes on to say that once you know where in the
marketing cycle you are getting stuck, you then know
the impacts you need to make on your market - the three
basic impacts being Outreach (what I call Connection),
Visibility and Credibility.
|If you need to:-
||The impact you need is (in order of
|Fill the pipeline
Not unsurprisingly, most workshop attendees, by a very
large margin, needed to work on following up, i.e. increasing
the frequency, quality and depth of their relationships
with prospects, clients and referral generators. We went
on to explore how this and the other required impacts
could be made. More of this in next month’s Insights.
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