We’ve all been at some point in a meeting where we have had to use statistics to over our own backside. A marketing campaign that didn’t deliver, so we report impressions. Sales figures which missed target, so we talk about the great opportunities… need I go on or do you get the jist?
I am seeing a growing trend of business struggling to win more business at scale. At micro level, winning a customer a week doesn’t seem to be an issue, but when it comes to a macro level, it seems to fall apart.
Every business should be looking to sell at scale, whether that is for software, hardware, financial services or any kind of business.
What do you I mean by sell at scale?
Generating more enquiries than the sales person/department can generate by their own physical efforts.
This is essentially marketing, the process of attracting customers to the business.
Businesses are struggling to get their heads around marketing. It is just a phoney department that creates statistics that deliver jack sh*t?
This is where lots of people go wrong. Selling at scale, aka, marketing, is the most important department in a business, because it can blow and generate a lot of money.
Get it wrong and you will have a very bitter taste.
Get it right and it will be the making of your business.
So, let’s look at how marketing can be the making of your business…
Marketing can build credibility and trust.
Trust in this day and age is a valuable commodity. Marketing can help you build this beyond your customer base. Marketing helps establish your name and reputation. Most businesses are careful of choosing new suppliers (unless they are in a pinch), so being the right place for the right time has a value.
In years past, you placed your company in the Yellow pages for the day when someone was looking. These days people expect marketing to deliver the result immediately, yet marketing works best over the long term.
Good, consistent, long-term marketing can establish you as a trusted, reliable business.
Marketing can bring people out of the woodwork
Despite the best efforts of a sales department, they cannot possibly connect, pitch or prospect everyone in your marketplace. Brand based marketing (which is proven to be more successful than short term sales campaigns) can create awareness way beyond the places your sales team can reach.
Sales by its very nature is looking for low hanging fruit. Whereas when marketing can take a long term approach, it can bring people out of the woodwork you never knew existed.
Likewise, if your sales team are working of their current leads and prospects, marketing can be filling that list with more leads and prospects. Everyone knows a sales person trying to generate their own leads can be a costly and laborious exercise.
Marketing can help your pricing
When you build a great brand, marketing can help your business hold its pricing at a higher level to competitors. When you’ve got a deep understanding of the market and spent time building your brand, pricing is less sensitive. It’s not invincible, but it is more resilient to market forces.
Having been involved in the agency world, I want to share two truths which will help you in building your business and working with external agencies and freelancers.
Firstly, an agency or freelancer can be a great way to get expertise you lack, particularly in the sometimes analytically fluffy world of marketing. My strong advice to you is that you have deep understanding of your market and business before you appoint a freelancer or agency.
That deep understanding isn’t product knowledge as much as understanding the motivations and challenges of the market and your customers.
Stats, facts and figures are not enough, it is how you position the business within the market and with the prospect and client base. Get that wrong and either you or the agency will go on a wildly unproductive goose-chase, which could result in frustration, disappointment and wasted money.
Knowing your position in the market and how to exploit it is essential if you want to get a bigger share of the pie. Marketing is a long term investment, if you invest wisely overtime, it will reap good returns. Positioning is an essential part of this as it sets the trajectory of the marketing, without it you could be p*ssing into the wind.
Secondly, agencies and freelancers have their own preferences, how do you judge their proposals or work, if you are not sure if it is right? Some might argue that is why you hire experts. But shouldn’t you be an expert in your own business? Shouldn’t you know who are your ideal customers? Shouldn’t you know the pain-points of your customers?
If you’re not an expert in your own business, how can you expect to get the best out of a marketing agency or freelancer you’re engaging to work on your business? How do you know their work is the right fit? How do you know what is a good or bad idea?
If you’d like to some help positioning your business so as to attract and win more business, you should book into Jumpstart, a mastermind workshop to help you define your business for growth and spot the opportunities you may be missing.