Here’s the thing – I often meet with clients who tell me they already have a website, a Facebook page, a radio ad, a brochure – but none of its working! I certainly understand the frustrations – but the question is, “How are you using your marketing tools? Do you even know what’s in your marketing tool box?”
Let’s just say you do have your marketing materials up to date – online media, outdoor media and maybe customer service systems. Do you know how to effectively put it all to use? You may be missing out on a lot of great ways to enhance your business simply because you don’t or won’t learn how to use your marketing tools effectively.
What do I mean? Here’s a perfect example: My new i-phone seemed pretty cool on the day I bought it – so many functions! So many possibilities! But, I only ever used it to make calls and read emails – maybe check my social media and my calendar. It wasn’t until my tech-savvy friend showed me all the ways I could enhance my i-phone experience that I understood what I was really missing. Syncing my calendar with my staff, uploading shared Google Documents, taking photos that upload immediately to my blog – are you kidding me? This was great – and it was in my “tool box” all along.
One of the reasons I stress strategy with my clients is because you can actually plan out what you want your marketing to do. For example, once you’ve got your social media set up – how would you like to use it? It’s a tool to improve your business so you should have some metrics in place and a sense of what you’d like to see. If you’re only using social media to post your latest promotion – without a thought as to who you are talking to and what you want the message to do – then you are wasting your time and money. Social media is a tool – and there are clear ways it can be an effective if you know how to use it.
Marketing should be doing something for you. It should offer you a set of tools to help you grow your business – not simply be a check list of items that a business is supposed to have. Remember my column on listening and understanding? I’m promising myself and my clients to do both. I want to make sure that I understand their expectations and more importantly, I want the client to understand how to use their marketing to meet those expectations. In today’s economic climate, more and more businesses can only afford marketing assistance to get them off the ground. After that, many clients hope to take over their marketing and manage it themselves. This is fine – but make sure you ask a lot of questions and know how to use your marketing tools to their fullest. Even better, I encourage my clients to request a follow up consultation anytime they feel they are in need of a little assistance.
All of us have tasks or projects that require certain tools to get the job done and knowledge of how to use them is critical to the overall results. You wouldn’t expect your dentist to peer inside your mouth and never use the drill simply because she never got around to learning how to use it, would you? My advice for this month? Assess your company’s marketing tools and if there’s anything you don’t know how to use – this is the month to learn more and find out how!
Leah Goold-Haws is the Creative Director/Marketing Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy. Leah’s experience has included campaign development and strategy implementation for multi-agency collaboratives, corporations and non-profits as well as entrepreneurs and small business clients. You can now meet with Leah at the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC provides low or no cost business assistance. Schedule an appointment today by calling 242-7630.