IS YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY KILLING YOUR PROFITS?
By Charlie Cook
With the wrong marketing strategy you could be killing your
profits and limiting your business. Your marketing strategy
is like the driver in a car, with marketing tactics being
the engine. If you know where you want to go and how to
get there, your marketing tactics will help you attract
many more clients, if not you could crash.
Every business uses one or more of the following tactics
to attract clients; mailings, advertisements, phone calls,
networking, promotional events, a web site and sending
email. If you use any of these and arenÕt attracting as
many new clients as you want or making as much money as
youÕd like, the problem may not be the tactics. It's
your marketing strategy that needs attention.
Without an effective marketing strategy you won't achieve
the results you want, no matter how much time and money
you spend. A high profile radio ad campaign wonÕt help
you grow your business unless it includes a message that
attracts your prospects. An article about your firm in a
newspaper can bring in business or just be a conversation
piece. Email messages you send can end up in your
prospects' delete bin or prompt them to contact you.
Mailings, radio advertisements or web sites are only
delivery vehicles for your marketing message. They are
the tactics you use to implement your strategy. Are you
using the right strategy to market your business?
What are the fundamental principles of your marketing
strategy? If you can answer this question, you're among
one percent of business owners who can. Most people think
only about their marketing tactics or vehicles and wonder
why their profits aren't growing as quickly as they would
Business-Building Marketing Strategy
To grow your business you need to:
- Define Your Goals
Identify where you want to take your business and what you
want to achieve. Other than making more money than you are
now, have you written down a vision of what you want your
business to be two years from now? Five years from now?
- Target Your Marketing
Most small business owners waste their time and money
pitching too broadly. Do you have an effective method for
identifying the people who want your products and
- Use a Problem Solving Approach
Over 95 percent of small business owners focus their
marketing on the reasons people should buy their products
and services, not on their clients. Is your marketing
focused on client's concerns and problems or on yours?
- Demonstrate Value
Getting your name in front of people is a first step in
marketing, but if your prospects donÕt know what you do
or how you can help them, you haven't achieved your goal.
Past clients and prospects may have only a limited idea of
how you can help them. Do your prospects understand the
range of problems you solve and the solutions you provide?
- Build Relationships
Every past client and prospect who has shown an interest
can help you grow your business. Most service professionals
know this but waste this resource through lapsed or
infrequent communication. Do you have a method for staying
in touch on a monthly basis with every person who could
help you grow you business? Do you have a strategy for
growing the number of qualified prospects on this list
Many people find that defining their marketing strategy
is the hardest part of their job. So hard that many small
business owners use a tactical approach instead. Don't
make this mistake!
Once you have clear marketing goals and a well-defined
strategy, your marketing will be more focused and you
can make more effective use of appropriate marketing
tactics to grow your business. Shift to strategic
marketing and you'll turbo charge your marketing and
2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals
and small business owners attract more clients and be
more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing
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'More Business' newsletter, full of practical tips you can
use at http://www.charliecook.net