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Over the years I have come to realize that marketing a business is like trying to keep in shape. You need to be consistent, focused and for results, you have to stick with it.
Like any exercise regime, marketing requires a plan. There are no quick fixes to increase sales; no secret recipes. Marketing like your gym routine needs to be a variety of well planned strategies that work well together to accomplish your goals and objectives. In your fitness plan you may incorporate cardio, strength training and diet to reach your goals; in marketing you may use a combination of radio, direct mail and PR. Each on their own may not be enough, but combined they will deliver the overall results you need.
Not every marketing activity will reap great results. However if you track and measure the effectiveness of each activity working in tandem, you can make the necessary changes to modify your “workout” in order to stay on track.
Is there one “magic” means to achieving marketing success? No, just like trying to get in shape, there’s no quick fix. If you have spent the last 10 years as a couch potato, with a poor diet it will take a while for your body to start showing the results of your new exercise routine. But just like marketing, you will see results if you stick to it and don’t fall back into old habits.
Where do you start? A marketing plan needs to contain information about your company, its goals, its vision, points of difference or unique selling proposition. How much do you want to spend and where do you want to spend it? Who is your target market…how can you best reach them and how will you know if you have?
Just like exercise, getting started is the hardest part…getting motivated and making that commitment to get in shape. A good marketing plan starts the same way…with getting your objectives put on paper and then putting them into action. A well defined plan will involve dedication and sweat, but if you keep at it, your hard work will start to show results. A toned and fit business that attracts customers.
Do I need a personal trainer? Chances are that if you’ve never exercised before, you will find it overwhelming trying to decide what machines and routine you should put together to get fit. Well marketing is much the same. You may know everything there is to know about your business but may have a hard time sorting out how to put together a campaign to let your customers know just how great you are. Get help from a marketing expert. PR, graphic design, media buying and branding are all areas that you should look at paying for to ensure that your marketing goals are being achieved. These experts can help you keep your plan trim and fit while creating the results you are looking for.
As you embark on your plan you will get a lot of opinions and advice from others. Whether it’s a diet they’ve tried before or the fact they tried email blasts that did or didn’t work, you need to filter the good with the bad. Not every method works for everyone so you need to find the right avenue for your business. There are no “set” programs that work for all businesses just like a carb free diet may work for one person and not another.
Consistency is key. It is one of the most important elements in a strong marketing foundation which promotes momentum and builds strength and longevity. It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes. Working out isn’t always at the top of our list of things to do when running a business, but if you can stick with it, you will see results that will help keep your business healthy, strong and in great shape.