Don’t Make An Ass Of Yourself With Marketing

No matter how advanced or innovative your offer, your dreams of growth may go unrealized by way of assumption.

Why? As entrepreneurs we’re often so eager to start selling our innovations, we jump right to promotion and advertising with a set of killer assumptions. Our marketing often flounders or fails as a result.

We Assume Consumer Relevance

We make the mistake that potential clients understand the value we represent and how they will benefit from our products and services. As a result, we start our marketing conversations with descriptions and explanations rather than with stories that show benefits. The result is irrelevance, disinterest and financial loss.

We Assume Profitable Sales

We make the mistake of assuming profits when we default to using forms of marketing that have little hope of ever generating a profit, even in a best case scenario. The results are unprofitable sales at best and more likely we experience mounting losses.

We Assume Blue Skies

We make the mistake of assuming that fortune will favor the bold. We believe our untested creative concepts, messaging and design will engage and inspire people on its debut performance. The results are unnecessary risk taking and unrealistic expectations.

We Assume Staff / Supplier Leadership

We make the mistake that marketing leadership can be delegated to others without any meaningful terms of reference. We simply hope our suppliers know what they are doing and then we pay the penalty in poor performance. We end up redoing our marketing over and over as we move closer to our undocumented objectives.

The Sad Truth About Marketing

The results of our assumptions are flashy designs and flowery product descriptions held together with hopes, prayers and our discretionary income. What’s missing are the fundamentals that shape and give meaning and direction to our writing, design and sales forecasts. Missing is our customers’ perspectives and the stories that engage and enroll hearts, minds and wallets.

Why Do We Assume, When Our Risks Are So High?

Impatience and inexperience are the usual culprits, but there is also a gap in the marketing knowledge base at work. The majority of books and articles on sales and marketing offer only bits of insights, out of context with an overall process. Most books seem to assume you are a consumer products marketer, as well. If you’re not (like many of us), what you learn may be inappropriate.

The Bottom Line

If you want your marketing done right, you need to direct the process yourself. This does not mean “do it yourself”.

Directing means:

defining your core values and value proposition
defining your audience and building personas
establishing your core purpose and competitive positioning
detailing constraints and setting targets
committing to a strategic direction and plan
defining reporting requirements
creating budgets and timelines
These are the foundation stones that you build on and grow into.

Where Can Entrepreneurs Learn Marketing Leadership?

The leading institution appears to be The School Of Hard Knocks. However, if you look hard enough you can find mentors, a marketing coach or a Fractional Director of Marketing, ideally with a program to follow. Otherwise your options are limited to market accelerators that typically focus on high-tech consumer product companies. If you don’t fit the consumer products mold, your options are limited.

Ready To Step Up And Lead?

Don’t get caught in the assumption trap with most of your peers. Don’t assume your consultants and staff took care of everything for you; they can’t do it without your leadership. Now is the time, to step up and lead your own charge. It’s time to build your “platform for earnings growth” instead of just designing cool graphics and websites.

What is Internet Or Online Marketing?

Most of us probably consider ourselves rather well informed on the subject of internet marketing, which is also known as online marketing, web marketing, i-marketing, or e-Marketing. After all, we browse the internet, do some blogging, communicate in social media sites, and also see how online advertisers are trying to persuade us to buy. While most people probably do understand what internet marketing is, the word itself has often been misunderstood and used loosely even by those in the internet marketing field.When a blogger speaks of internet marketing, he is actually talking about blogging. When an affiliate marketer speaks of internet marketing, he is actually talking about selling. When an online network marketer speaks of internet marketing, he is actually talking about recruiting and prospecting. Each of these people is talking about one part of the total internet marketing structure.So what really is internet marketing?Internet Marketing is a total system of interacting web business activities designed to plan the product, price, promotion, and how to distribute the want-satisfying products and services to present and potential customers.
Product (Is your product: innovative – truly unique, adaptive – replacement of existing product, or imitative – new to your company but not new to the internet marketplace. Branding and packaging do influence products),
Price (How much do you think I can get for this item? If the price of the product is too high or too low, it may have positive or negative effect on the company’s internet marketing campaigns),
Promoting your business online is to persuade internet users to accept, resell, recommend, or use the product, service, or act favorably upon the idea being promoted, and
Distribute or Place (Since your product is now ready for its market, you need to establish distribution strategies, including selecting channels of distribution).Most internet marketers define internet marketing as the advertising of products and services on the internet. This narrow definition reflects the sales and selling orientation which has permeated so much of online business. Advertising on the internet is one part of online promotion (others include online personal selling, online sales promotion, and online publicity), and online promotion is one part of the total internet marketing program. It should be noted particularly that “online promotion” and “online sales promotion” are different. Online marketing is not any one activity, nor is it exactly the sum of several; rather, it is the result of the interaction of many activities such design, development, online advertising, and online sales.However, we need to also recognize that i-marketing has other dimensions far broader than our definition. In the design aspect of internet marketing, your web site is very important. It is where the traffic will be directed to and also where most of the sales will come from. So you need to have a uniquely designed web site that is well structured, search engine optimized with the right keywords and description, contents and graphic rich, and has the marketing elements to improve your visitors’ conversion ratio.In the development aspect, the product planning is very important. You need to plan on developing or getting the right product or service to the internet marketplace, and at the right price. Will your product be sold through affiliate marketing, network marketing, directly to consumers, or directly to other businesses (B2B)? There is many other online business models you can develop based on the specific needs of each person or business when launching your web marketing campaign.Your online advertising aspect is also one part of the total online marketing program. There are several online media you can use to create brand awareness about your product, service, idea, or company.In the online sales aspect of your online marketing campaign, you will need to plan how your goods or services will be distributed to your customers, how payments will be processed (is it through PayPal, liberty reserve, or other merchant accounts?), and how sales can be increased.

A New Marketing Strategy Is Like A Move Across Country

Bob just got a promotion. After years of hard work and keeping his nose to the grindstone, his efforts have paid off. Now he can sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labors.

That is until his boss informs him that along with the promotion comes a move to a different office – in a different state – clear across the country!

And we all know what that entails. Not only does Bob have to arrange for new utilities, new schools for the kids and meeting with moving companies, he now has a thousand other little details to take care of. That kind of stress can change a sane person into a raving madman.

No one likes to move. Bob has to wonder if the promotion is worth it. Not only is he starting fresh somewhere else, he now hat to prove himself all over again.

Deciding on a new marketing strategy can be likened to a cross country move. While it is exciting to contemplate, the details can be overwhelming. Bob is comfortable at his current office. Similarly, tried and true marketing of a brand is comfortable: not only to the company that offers the product, but to the consumer as well. The question then becomes, will change help or hinder a known brand?

Remaining stagnant in an ever changing marketing environment can sound a death knell to a brand, no matter how well known. You can see that happening daily on any business page in the news. Sitting back and allowing complacency to take over only shows that your brand is out of touch with today’s market.

Instead of looking at a new marketing strategy as something to be dreaded, see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn new information, expand your horizons and make new clients.

Start with little things first. Has your marketing be totally reliant on website presence? If so look into direct mail marketing or email newsletters as an addition to your marketing strategy. Are newsletters sent by either email or direct mail how you have been keeping your clients informed what is new in your industry? Think about expanding that idea with social media marketing. Have one or more of your employees become a social media maven by interacting with existing and potential clients through blogs, social media platforms and local events. Direct marketing with all or any of these mediums increases exposure and offers personalization the competition may not be part of.

When it comes to competition, do not mimic their marketing tactics but go a step beyond. Join networking groups, become a well known presence in the local community and never dismiss the advantages of being a member of an industry organization. There are a great many news companies today that offer businesses a way to let the world know what is going on with your company. Begin to implement press releases on a frequent basis as part of an overall marketing strategy. Be pro-active instead of being ignored.

The more places potential clients see your name, your brand or your logo the greater chance of increasing a client base. An increased client base means greater growth.