Marketing, whether it be in the form of public relations, advertising, email marketing, social media or direct marketing, has to be a part of your business plan. Which mean it has to be a part of your budget. It’s important to view marketing as a part of your hard costs, as opposed to a luxury. Promoting your business is not an option, it’s a necessity. Cut out your marketing budget and chances are you’ll end up with a great business that stalls at the starting line. Either budget for some form of marketing campaign, or prepare to have your business stall, sputter and ultimately fail.
Regardless of the type of marketing campaign you choose to launch, keep in mind chances are you’re not going to hit a home run your first time at bat. There are those situations where you score big right off the bat, but don’t count on it. The most effective campaigns are long term, cumulative approaches. They need to be refined, adjusted, and modified. As you go, you learn.
If you choose to bring on an agency or public relations company, work with them. It’s a collaborative process. It’s important you work as a team to develop story ideas, media pitches and create a campaign that meets your needs but also allows your PR firm to meet the media’s needs. Don’t look to your friends and acquaintances to give you marketing and PR advice. Advice is cheap and easy to give. Everyone believes they’re marketing mavens, but few actually have a clue. If you start listening to everyone’s advice you’ll continually be in reactive mode. Your marketing campaign will function like an old fashion pinball machine, shooting to the right and then to the left with no focus, no point of view and no concrete direction
I read recently that, if a marketing approach makes you nervous, you’re probably on the right road. There is truth to that. Keep that in mind. If you need to invest a bit more than you planned, or you’re feeling uncomfortable about having to expose yourself a bit more than you’re used to, take a deep breath and move forward.
Before you take and action, define your target market. Initially focusing on one niche and one market is generally more effective than trying to cast a huge net. Focusing on satisfying everyone can be a problematic approach.
Listen to the market. The marketplace continually gives us feedback. If a particular marketing approach or media relations campaign isn’t working the way you’d hoped, it might not be the campaign itself, but the focus or the approach. Sometimes all it takes is some minor tweaking to go from a stalled marketing approach to an amazingly successful campaign.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012