Tag Archives: marketing

Own Your Own Business: Strategize and Measure

(part 3 in a series of 3)

The corner where Marketing Ave. meets Strategy St.I saw the movie “You’ve Got Mail” again, and a few key points of reality became very clear to me. This blog article captures the third and final part of this clarity.

“The Shop Around The Corner” made two mistakes:

  1. extreme loyalty to its customers,
  2. not reacting to the new competition.

First, loyalty to your customers is not a bad thing, but in overdrive could blind a business owner to trends from their customers. In the movie, Kathleen Kelly had asked a author when her new book was coming out so she could schedule a signing, and the author told her not until January. Some days later, Ms. Birdie Conrad passed by the window of the competition, she saw a sign indicating the signing had been scheduled — with Fox & Sons Bookstore. When you combine this with the trailing foot traffic count and the loss of $1200 in revenue within the first week of the competitor’s opening, you get a profile of a business in trouble.

Second, reacting to changes around your business is normal, almost an evil necessity, but whenever possible should be tamed with strategic planning and measuring. You can plan which buyer personas (a.k.a. target markets) to concentrate on with a specific message and call-to-action (CTA), and how you will follow-up with each person. Next, you must build a sales process to give you a roadmap for engagement with each persona. This includes knowing where each persona is inside your sales funnel, and how you will move them along to the next level: conversion. Without strategic planning, any marketing effort will be watered down to a “spray-and-pray” disability that will hinder growth.

Along with that, if you don’t measure your marketing efforts, you won’t know if you are achieving your goals or falling short. Use a good CRM software like ZOHO or Salesforce to help you track prospects, leads, and client conversions. Perform A/B tests on your landing pages’ CTAs (calls-to-action) and adjust for a better customer engagement experience. Calculate what your conversion ratio is and what types of marketing helped you achieve it. Measure where your prospects and leads are coming from — you may have a referral partner and not know it. Measure all the good and be courageous when looking at what needs improving.

The takeaway:

Be vigilant and flexible to changes in and around your business. Measure and compare your efforts to your marketing and business plans. Are you still on target to reach this year’s goals, or do you need to make adjustments? Are your marketing and sales departments (or hats) working together? Don’t just think you’re successful; know you are.

Ready to mix your regular marketing with inbound marketing tactics? Connect with me by phone, social media or click this link to get started.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Own Your Business: Do Your Homework

(part 2 in a series of 3)

The corner where  Marketing Ave. meets Strategy St.I saw the movie “You’ve Got Mail” again, and a few key points of reality became very clear to me. This blog article captures the second part of this clarity.

As the movie goes: Kathleen Kelly denies, for a good chunk of the movie, that Fox & Sons Bookstore is a threat to her own bookstore. She says it’s a fad, shiny and new, and will wear out quickly because there’s no personalized service and the employees don’t actually read books. Spirited words, yes! What did she do next?

Nothing. That is, until she was encouraged by her friends, employees, and boyfriend. Oh, yes, and by Joe Fox himself, a.k.a. NY152 AOL email/chat buddy, when he told her “go to the mattresses and fight”. She does, finally, but this advice was heeded too late and she ended up closing her shop.

What went wrong?

  1. Denial. Sounds simply and silly, right? Yet how many of us are in denial of a new business competitor? Competition can hurt or help your business, so it’s wise to keep eyes and ears open as to what they are doing. Walk in and take a look around. Notice their products, prices, fliers, POS system — even their lighting.
  2. Complacency. Business owners can get comfortable in their own neighborhood, sometimes too comfortable. They may be okay with competition coming in, not recognizing a potential threat (or boon) to their own bottom line. Research. Find out how the new guy ticks, what their marketing strategy is, what products or services they offer. This critical to not only keep your business afloat, but alive and kicking.
  3. Analysis Paralysis. Business owners can find tips on marketing, sales, and business best practices. Once you find out what the competition is doing, take some time to come up with a marketing strategy to keep in touch with your current clients. If too much time is taken, you can miss an opportunity and lose more than a sale.

The takeaway:

While businesses should stay flexible enough to adjust to trends or offer a special, creating a marketing strategy should never be a reactive response to competition. Marketing should be a continual flow of ideas, tips, and advice (and the occasional sale) to your clients and prospects, keeping your business TOMA — Top Of Mind Awareness — to both. Move prospects through your sales funnel until they convert to customers, one step at a time.

Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion in this series.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.