Marketing can be complicated. To make things easier for myself, I like to look at the math of marketing. Math helps me better understand how I can promote my business and the businesses of my clients in a more effective and efficient manner. This month all my content will be focused on looking at marketing through the lense of math. Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for my video content!
A reason many business owners neglect marketing their business is because they don’t have the time. Heck, even as a marketer, I’ve used this excuse a time or two. But as a marketing expert, I can’t state it plainly enough: if you want your business to succeed, you need to promote it.
But I also understand that you are struggling to find the time.
What can help? Defining the resources you can and want to devote to marketing.
Defining your marketing resources allows you to become a better marketer because you have identified what you have to work with. You can set parameters around your capabilities and set better, more realistic goals for your marketing efforts. As you meet your marketing goals, you generate more revenue, which in turn grows your business.
As you grow, you can make decisions around obtaining more resources or devoting that extra incoming revenue to other areas of your business.
Although this blog is going under a theme of Marketing Math, I am not going to present any numbers because every business is different. As you consider the resources I detail below, assign some numbers to them and begin thinking about you can use them to effectively promote your business.
I will start with the resource I have already referenced above: time. We’ve already established that marketing your business is a non-negotiable, so you must devote some time to it. But, because, time is your most valuable resource, you must use it wisely. I suggest starting with 1-5 hours per week. Use that time to set goals, develop a marketing strategy, interact with customers on social media, or review any work that has been done on your behalf.
There are two keys to using your time wisely when it comes to marketing:
- Be consistent. Schedule the time on your calendar and stick to it EVERY week.
- Define what you are going to work on PRIOR to actually sitting down to work.
Both prevent you from aimlessly sitting down at your desk trying to think of something to work on.
Aside from time, money is the next biggest obstacle that prevents people from marketing their business. Thankfully, you can do quite a lot without money: sending emails, posting to social media, attending local networking events. These are all marketing activities that don’t cost any money (although networking has a different sort of cost associated with it).
However, if you are in a position to devote some money to promoting your business, then take a little time to detail how much money you would like to spend each month, quarter, half-year, and full year. Take it a step further and break down your marketing budget to specific line items such as paid ads, online services, or outside help. This will help you better understand how to use your marketing budget for maximum effect.
Employees are an often under-utlized resource when it comes to small- and medium-sized businesses promoting themselves. You should consider consulting your senior staff for input when developing a marketing strategy. They have insight into your business and audience which could be extremely valuable. Including them in the process also increases the chances they will buy in to your marketing strategy, which will help with implementation and management.
Also, speak to your team about other skills they possess. You may have someone who can help with social media, the website, or even a little graphic design. Anything you can take off your plate will give you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Outside help is anyone who does not work directly for you but you can use to help promote your business. This could be a marketer, freelance writer, or graphic designer. For example, I use a service to help me with my design work. I factor that in when I am developing my strategy as well as my weekly to-do list.
Understanding your outside help is vital because you begin to see ways you can use them to maximize their usefulness in serving your marketing needs.
By assets I mean anything that you have used to brand or promote your business before. Take some time to gather any logos, taglines, mission statements, graphic designs, old promos, pictures, and videos. Organize these items into a digital folder so everything can be accessed quickly and used if needed.
Even if something is old and you do not plan on ever using it again, it could still provide insight on how you should promote your business moving forward.
Word-of-mouth marketing can have a positive benefit for your business. If you have a base of satisfied customers who keep coming back, then you should ask them to leave a review on Facebook or Google. Ask them to refer friends or family members. If you have the ability to set up a loyalty program, then do so. Happy customers/clients are a great way to attract potential leads. Finding ways to leverage the good will you have earned with your current clients will go a long way to making yourself a better marketer.
Marketing your business is tough and it seems like time is even harder to find. However, if you take the time to understand the resources at your disposal and truly take advantage of them, you will begin to see how they can be used to effectively promote and scale your business.