Marketing is the business of promoting your product or service and connecting with your clients. It’s also the tools and the process that you use to get the buyers’ attention. Marketing is a conversation, and the better the communication, the better the relationship.
What is your marketing message?
Pay attention, because it’s wrapped up into everything that has anything to do with your business. Your logo, sound bites, Web content, press releases, website design and business cards all communicate a message about your business to your clients. And since these elements are saying so much about your company, you need to shape that conversation into something that matters.
To make the most of your marketing, Ivana Taylor suggests that you jumpstart your marketing with these four mix-and-match power tools:
- a logo package,
- a top 10 article,
- a WordPress blog and
- an email marketing account.
She includes software suggestions to help you maximize your logo package and key ideas for using the “top 10 article” to generate leads for your company.
She also shows you how to transform your B2B website into a customer magnet because, as Ivana puts it:
“Your website is a huge budget-friendly untapped resource that you’ve been ignoring for too long.”
While her article targets the industrial and manufacturing sector, the website is a major marketing tool for most businesses – especially since the Internet is the modern-day Yellow Pages.
But marketing is only the first half of the equation.
I have noticed two things:
- some small business owners ignore their marketing, and then wonder what’s wrong with their businesses;
- others fail to master the sales process and also end up confused.
Marketing gets the attention, but your sales process advances the relationship by turning potential clients into customers.
Sales and marketing work together. The stronger the marketing, the easier it is to sell. But no matter how great the marketing is, sales is a process that has to be acknowledged, practiced and honored with repeated execution.
Diane Helbig shows us how not to approach a sales pitch. At the core she suggests that we get training:
“Whether you work for a company or own your own business, sales is a critical part of your success – or failure. You owe it to yourself to be sure you are trained effectively.”
But after we get the training, she tells us to practice on “non-ideal” clients. “Practice on the companies or people with which you don’t necessarily need to score a deal. You’ll be more relaxed, and you’ll get the chance to work out the kinks of your communication” before you get to your crucial prospects.
Following her process has the benefit of calming your nerves. Practice, and then deliver.
Image from Frannyanne/Shutterstock
I think too many small business owners underestimate the marketing and sales skills needed to run a successful small business, and this is where many of them fail. Marketing and Sales should compliment each other. Too many small business marketing initiatives fail when it comes to acquiring new leads as they fail to use a strong call to action.
Maria Fernanda Lacerda Pereira
A really big problem that small business do have is the lack of professionalism in their social media strategy.
Many times the whole effort for digital marketing in small companys is about having one intern. That definetly is not a great strategy…
Nearly every business owner I have worked with has thought marketing and sales are the same thing. They are surprised with I explain the difference. However, one should not go without the other. When used together properly, they are effective in providing new leads and clientele.
Many people view marketing as an opportunity to barrage the market with as many communications as possible without fully vetting a strategy to maximize an opportunity. Businesses large and small are seduced into pushing a big idea without thinking of a full system that provides awareness, follow-up, support and a true understanding of the customer need.