Just Start Marketing
For People Who Run Businesses.
Marketing. It’s one of the primary challenges of running any business.
How much should you spend on marketing? Which social media should we be using? How do we measure marketing ROI? What’s the most effective media mix? Is our branding on point? Should we redesign our website?
All good questions and there are so many more we muscle through every day as a marketing agency. As I think of all the things we’ve helped companies do over the past 17 years, there’s one piece of advice I’d start with for anyone running a business:
Just start marketing.
Growing Your Business
There are so many ins and outs of marketing and no one, including me, is going to have all answers. What I do know is that the only way you are going to grow your business is for more people to become aware of what you offer and get a better understanding of why it might make their life better.
Yes, it’s little more complicated than that, but bottom line, if you’re not increasing the amount of people who are aware of you, you’re not going to be in business long. Anything you do to move the needles of increased awareness and preference is never going to be a bad thing.
I have a favorite saying: Never underestimate how invisible your business is.
I roughly estimate that 80% of my driving is on the same routes from home to work to my kids’ schools to the grocery store, etc. Every now and then I notice some business that I’ve driven by hundreds of times right on one of those streets and never knew it was there. I wonder how many people who could be customers have driven right by and missed them as well.
I’m curious what would happen if they put a bright, large sandwich board out by the street. Or dressed someone in some character outfit and had them waving a sign. Marketing doesn’t always have to be some complex solution. Sometimes a more sophisticated campaign is needed. My main point is don’t get stalled over analyzing it.
Embrace the importance of marketing and start trying some things.
You might be pleasantly surprised at the new business you generate. You might have an amazing idea and have it fall completely flat. The important thing is that you’ll have gotten on the radar of a few more people AND gained some insight about what works and what doesn’t.
I remember when we first proposed some online advertising back around 2013 for an orthopedics healthcare event targeting seniors. No one thought it would work given the age of the audience, but it was a huge success. We now use that same format and formula for successfully marketing similar events across the U.S. That said, we’ve also found that complementing it with print ads (yes, in the newspapers that “no one reads anymore”) and good old fashioned flyers is an optimal mix.
So start growing your business. It helps to have some expertise on your side, but regardless of your confidence, understanding, love or disdain for marketing, just get started. You’ll have failures and successes and improve along the way.
It’s also good to know that there’s a cumulative effect to marketing. Even the not-so-great ideas add to your marketing equity. And it’s all those efforts that build over the years to create the awareness that leads to interest that leads to customers that leads to a successful business.
So get started today. Throw around some ideas pick the best one, and just start marketing.
Marketing Ground Zero is the marketing blog of Abra Marketing, a marketing agency based in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California, serving clients throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Learn more about our full range of marketing services at AbraMarketing.com.
* Sandwich Board image from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507710557962786712/