How would you describe the way you market your business?
When I used to speak with marketing students, I would explain the three basic small business marketing approaches like this.
Marketing approach 1: Chopping down a tree with a hammer
Yes, you can chop a tree down with a hammer but it will take days of needless, backbreaking work. This is what happens when you use the wrong tool for the job.
Most of the small business owners I hear from fit into this category. Instead of using the correct marketing tools for what they want to achieve, they use the tools they are comfortable with. They complain about their lack of success, but keep repeating the same old errors. If you are not getting the results you want from your marketing, stop whatever you are doing and make sure you are using the right tools for what you want to achieve.
Marketing approach 2: Chopping down a tree with an axe
Yes, you can chop a tree down with an axe and instead of it taking you a few days, as it would with a hammer, it might only take you a couple of hours of hard work. This is what happens when you use a tool that’s designed specifically for what you want to achieve. It’s massively more efficient. You get better results, for less effort.
From a marketing perspective, a far smaller group of small business owners fit into this category. These are the people, who have invested their time refining how they market their business and thus eliminated what didn’t work and embraced what did. What’s left is a shiny set of effective marketing tools.
Marketing approach 3: Chopping down a tree with a chain saw
You can chop a tree down with a chainsaw in minutes; without even breaking into a sweat. Like an axe, it’s a tool that’s specially designed for the job. Unlike the axe, which was designed hundreds of years ago (or more), today’s chainsaws use the very latest technology. So, not only will the chainsaw do the job, it will do it better, more accurately and in a fraction of the time.
From a marketing perspective, very few small business owners fit into this category. These rare people are the ones who have not only discovered some marketing tools that work; they have also discovered the perfect tools for what they want to achieve and the most effective way to use them, so they get the best possible results. They plan their marketing ahead of time and make far better decisions.
Compare that approach, to the more typical small business owner’s attitude to marketing. Marketing is something these guys do when there’s a problem; like the loss of a major account or the sudden realisation that they are not making any real progress. So, for example, they might decide to “try a mail shot” and send a poorly written letter (which is essentially a sales pitch) to an out of date list of people, who never asked to be contacted.
They then usually proclaim; “we tried mail shots – they don’t work!” I’m assuming they are the same people who think “cars don’t work” because they don’t know how to drive! ;)
Most people reading this, will see themselves primarily in one of those three general groups. The best advice I can give you, is to get yourself into that third group, as quickly as you can!