I am going to show you how to make your marketing more successful and more reliable, with something called your marketing mix. I am also going to give you a list and explanation of some of the most popular types of marketing, used by small and medium sized businesses. I strongly suggest you read part one of this before proceeding.
This is a BIG marketing guide, with lots of great ideas, so please share it on your favourite social network or social bookmarking site.
In part one of this guide I shared one of the most common errors small businesses make with their marketing. The error is that they rely on just one or two different marketing activities in order to generate their sales.
This is a REALLY bad idea!
Firstly, if you rely on just one or two different forms of marketing, you are missing out on STACKS of new business and opportunities! No matter how good you are at getting the full leverage from a couple of marketing activities, you will be placing a very low ceiling on your business’s potential, if you limit yourself in this way. The most successful small businesses all use at least four or five different kinds of marketing – often 8 or 10 or more!
Secondly, by relying on just one or two marketing activities, you leave yourself extremely vulnerable when one of them stops working! A business owner emailed me to say that she relied on an advertisement in a business publication for over 90% of her sales leads. One of her competitors started advertising in the same publication and her number of leads (and sales) dropped by 40% overnight – That hurts.
So, your marketing mix should combine at least four or five different marketing activities, which compound and create a regular supply of sales for you. Here are some of the marketing options you should consider adding to YOUR marketing mix.
A targeted message delivered through a great ad, which is read, listened to or watched by your core target client group is REALLY powerful! For a free advertising guide, click here.
Online networking or ‘social networks’
Online networking has great marketing potential. The key is to join a network that is best suited to your needs and to be selective with whom you network! Focus on the quality of people in your network and NOT just the quantity. If you develop a network of 30 well-connected, motivated, professional people and I develop a network of 3000 people who ‘just wanted to join my network’ – your network will be massively more valuable then mine.
A couple of the more popular business networks are www.ecademy.com and www.linkedin.com. Other’s now use Facebook exclusively as a business networking tool. I personally use Twitter and have found, like many others, that it is perhaps the most powerful of all. Whatever network you choose, you are likely to see FAR BETTER results than through wasting your time at traditional ‘networking events’ (Click here to see why traditionasl networking is a waste of your time!)
As an exhibitor at, (or visitor to), a well-attended exhibition aimed at your target client base – you can easily get to meet people face-to-face, who are almost impossible to reach using other forms of marketing. Depending on your industry or profession and the average lifetime value to your business of a client, you could find exhibiting at well-attended exhibitions an extremely valuable part of your marketing mix. I know companies who win most of their high quality work via exhibitions.
It’s a fact; email marketing is extremely cost effective and certainly one of the most powerful marketing tools available to small businesses. It works incredibly well – and costs little or nothing.
Here are a few things to consider before adding email marketing to your marketing mix. I recommend you build your own email database (mailing list) rather than buy one from a list broker. The best way to get started is to ask your existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address and if it’s ok for you to email them occasionally with news or special offers.
You also need to get people joining your email list from your website! To do this, make it as easy as possible, and offer something of value as an incentive for them to join your mailing list, like a free ebook. Also, only ask for their email address – not their life history, and let them know that you will never, ever pass on their details to ANYONE!
ONLY send people valuable information (like this free guide) or a genuinely special offer. I also strongly recommend that you don’t bombard people with email; just one message every week or 14 days is more than enough.
I send my Newsletter out once every seven to 14 days, because people hate being bombarded with information; even great information! As a result, very few people ask to be removed from my subscriber list.
Finally, to grow your list, ask readers to forward your emails on. Obviously, making sure all the while, that you abide by the rules governing email marketing in your country.
Telephone marketing – Tele sales
Telephone marketing works – but it’s less effective than it used to be. Not that long ago, you could call someone’s direct ‘phone line and know that if they were in, they would pick up the phone. Today, people from even the smallest of companies screen all their inbound calls with voice mail; to eliminate unwanted interruptions and sales calls. This means you now need to make massively more calls to reach a smaller number of people!
I used to tell the owners of small businesses to learn how to make telemarketing calls and then set some time aside and make those calls! Today, I suggest you outsource the whole process to a proven telephone marketing company. Doing it yourself is now a low-leverage marketing activity, because it requires so much time.
Outsourced telephone marketing is still a high leverage activity, because you will usually only pay per lead or sale.
Traditional networking is a total waste of your time – avoid it!
It’s not enough to simply ‘have a website’! Your website needs to work for your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; generating leads, making sales or collecting the email addresses of potential clients. If your website is simply an online brochure, it’s costing you a fortune in lost sales, lost profits and lost opportunities!
When your website is supported by a newsletter and some Internet marketing, the results can be transformational. Still not convinced? Without spending a penny on advertising, my Internet marketing often reaches over 2 million people in a week! I will be writing separate guides all about forum marketing, article marketing, pay-per-click and blogging shortly.
Sometimes known as a J.V, a ‘Joint Venture’ is where you and another business or person get together to (usually) cross-market your services. The key to JV success, is to find someone credible, who offers a non-conflicting product or service to the exact same profile of person or business as you do.
So, if you sell recruitment services to the hospitality industry and they sell employee benefits packages to the hospitality industry – BINGO! They can include one of your flyers or letters in one of their mailings and you can do the same for them; everybody wins. Avoid doing a JV with ANYONE you contacts you via email – unless you know them or can check them out. If in doubt – leave it.
An ‘Endorsed Relationship’ is similar to a Joint Venture – BUT with one BIG and POWERFUL difference! The person you do the venture with actually gives you their professional or personal endorsement. This is marketing gold dust.
For example: Rather than just slipping one of YOUR marketing flyers in with one of THEIR client mailings (as they would in a Joint Venture), they actually write to their clients and give you their full endorsement. This is easily the single most powerful form of referral and one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet.
I have seen endorsed mailings return a 90% positive response rate!
Obviously, the above list does not cover every marketing option open to you, but I hope it gives you a few ideas.
No matter how good your service is, your future success will be determined by how good you are at winning and retaining good quality clients. As Robert Kiyosaki says, lots of people can make a better hamburger than McDonalds; but very few can sell hamburgers more successfully. In today’s super-competitive economy, your marketing is more important than ever before, so make sure you give it the time and investment it needs!