Marketing Ain’t Easy…

Or should I say good marketing ain’t easy. Pretty much everyone has a website now days (I did not say a good one necessarily), and can put a newspaper ad together  – even a brochure. And e-mails – yeah, they send a few of those out too.

But do they all look the same or communicate the same message? Or how about any type of consistent schedule? This is where things get a little more complicated. You see, marketing is not the same as just advertising – you have to actually have a strategy. A well thought out message that explains who you are and why you are different than your competitors. It takes a well conceived image along with the right words that can together communicate what you business does in the marketplace.

In many ways, it is all about perception. It is finding ways to make sure that your targeted audience notices you first, and then through the message you share over time, they begin to perceive you in the manner you desire. You are building your brand, and your identity.

Of course to do this effectively, you need a plan. And ideally this plan is more than a random mail piece or e-mail blast, but rather a consistent and structured program – one that is built on an integrated strategy. This means using a variety of media – print, online, e-mail, social media, video and mobile marketing. It also means setting a schedule and then having the discipline to stick with it!

And perhaps, it is this last part that most small organizations have the most problem with. Even when they take the time to map out a plan, it can be very easy after the first month or two to get sidetracked and skip a beat. Or, to get lulled into thinking that you have been doing this for months now, and surely everyone is beginning to get sick of the message – just like you might be! But lo and behold, that is rarely the case. Even some of your best clients may not fully realize all that you do, even though you list your services over and over. Have you ever talked with a customer and have them say – “I never knew you did that” – sadly, it happens all the time!

So the whole point of my message today is that to be a good marketer requires a real commitment. It means putting your thoughts into a well focused strategy and then developing a plan that you can follow through on – both from a budget standpoint and a time commitment. Assign responsibilities for each aspect of the plan and mark everything down on a calendar (our Marketing Calendars were designed for this very reason!). But most important of all? Keep true to the plan – force yourself to update the website regularly, write out that blog post, add the posts to your social media sites, send out the direct mail letters. Do what it takes to do it right, because you are right – it ain’t always easy!

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