My father once told me “When times get tough, persevere”.
Anecdotally, after having met so many businesses over the years, there are two key numbers that I hear over and over: 11 and 13. These are the years it takes many businesses to find the success many dream of when they first start a business.
Both numbers are fairly big and if your business is just starting out reading that may seem frightening…
But I may have a short cut.
I was in a networking event just this week where this fella said to me “advertising – just doesn’t work. The only way to build your business is word of mouth.” Now, be it driving down the freeway passing billboard after billboard, listening to the radio, watching the TV or looking at the amount of content being produced online I think there is a weight of evidence that may suggest otherwise.
Word of mouth is a beautiful acoustic performance and let’s be honest there are few things better than being in an intimate room with an artist and hearing them play just for you, but it can be equally thrilling listening to your favorited artist belt out the same tune with 100,000 people singing along around you in a stadium.
But to sing to 100,000 you need to amplify the singers voice and this, for me, is a key to growing your business quickly… amplifying your marketing efforts.
That amplification can be scary be it as a singer or as a business takes commitment
- Because you need to invest infrastructure to achieve it and,
- Because you need to be able to back up your promise of a great show or else you are going to seriously damage your brand…
I think a big part of the reason that many businesses are afraid of implementing marketing initiatives is because they are genuinely afraid of growing. Afraid of the commitment it takes…
So, if you are not afraid read on.
Like business itself, I believe, like my father did, that marketing is about perseverance.
Perseverance in Marketing
How does this apply to marketing?
The big bad world of marketing is massive and the options endless; so how can any business know what is going to work for them and what business can possibly afford to do, or try, them all?
And even if you could, where you find success may ultimately surprise you….
Unfortunately, marketing isn’t an absolute science, moreover one of the greatest challenges of business is differentiation and much like your USP (and you should have one (Have a read about USP’s here) your marketing needs to set you apart from your key competitors. The look, feel, messaging and channels you use may be guided by your competition (note: research is key to standing out) but may take time to make work.
Time…that old chestnut. Yes, great marketing takes time – marketing is a marathon not a sprint and you should prepare for accordingly.
Here are some things to consider
- Have a genuine goal
- Have a plan
- Some will recommend 90 days but we would suggest 180 day to trial and evolve a marketing initiative before abandoning it. Not 2 weeks!!!
- During that time test and tweak it
- Understand what the purpose of your marketing is there to achieve. There is a huge difference between marketing for sales vs marketing for brand awareness, so be clear about what it is you are aiming for before you begin.
- Invest in quality execution. If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.
Marketing success won’t happen overnight. The companies that do it best are those that are willing to roll up their sleeves, get a bit dirty, do the work and stick with it.
A creative director I used to work with many years ago, Paul, once said to me “Ideas a worthless, what makes a great idea is how you execute it” and most businesses abandon them for the next bright object instead of sticking with their plan. Which is one of the greatest challenges we face as an agency, we build plans for businesses and a timeline with which to permeate it, only to have the client change their objectives or be concerned they are not seeing results one or two months in.
Yes, you can always change something if it doesn’t work. But, before you do, make sure you didn’t just abandon great ideas or great plans because the results weren’t instant or because it was more fun to try something new.
Marketing in some ways can be like going to the gym and working with an agency like working with a personal trainer…It is going to be hard. The trainer is going to build you a plan and going to push you to stick to it.
Your muscles will be sore, your diet may be restricted and for a while it may feel like you are getting nowhere, but stick with it and you will come out of it looking and feeling better than ever.
Be consistent and
And both your business and your marketing will flourish. And if you need some help, just ask we’re always here.