Another area on the workshop we looked at was where you most need
to focus your marketing attention. Given that many small and medium
businesses have limited budgets and perhaps most of all limited
time, the answer to this question is of major importance. So how
do most businesses allocate their marketing resources? Typically
this is done annually as part of an overall business plan, but
how often are the decisions simply based relative to the previous
year, i.e. we’ll spend 10% more on advertising and 20% more
on direct mailings? Alternatively, if there is no plan/budget,
it is perhaps easy to be persuaded by those marketing to us – their
advertising space, their business directories, telesales, PR campaign
Where do you most need
to focus your marketing?
C.J. Hayden, an author and popular speaker in the USA , talks
about what she calls the Universal Marketing Cycle, which is in
fact a mixture of marketing and sales steps that businesses typically
need to undertake to win business. These steps are: filling the
pipeline, follow-up, getting presentations and closing the sale.
This is a process that becomes a cycle, as at each stage, if you
are unsuccessful (as well as after actually providing the service/product),
the prospect/client goes back into your follow-up “pot”,
to be contacted again in 1,3 or 6 months’ time, as agreed
with them. The point at which you most typically get stuck in this
cycle is where you need to focus your marketing attention. Simply
speaking, if you don’t have enough leads and people to contact,
you need to work on filling your pipeline. If on the other hand
you already have lots of contacts on your database that you haven’t
spoken to for months, you need to work on follow-up (see October’s Insights – a
system for staying in touch). If you’re good at follow-up,
but aren’t getting the opportunity to demonstrate your wares,
you need to work on getting presentations. And finally, if you’re
making lots of presentations, but not winning the business, your
attention needs to be on closing the sale.
Hayden goes on to say that once you know where in the marketing
cycle you are getting stuck, you then know the impacts you need
to make on your market - the three basic impacts being Outreach
(what I call Connection), Visibility and Credibility.
|If you need to:-
||The impact you need is (in order of importance):-
|Fill the pipeline
Not unsurprisingly, most workshop attendees, by a very large margin,
needed to work on following up, i.e. increasing the frequency,
quality and depth of their relationships with prospects, clients
and referral generators. We went on to explore how this and the
other required impacts could be made. More of this in next month’s Insights.
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