This blog is the first blog in a two-part series that was inspired by a podcast that Roger, Founder of Beacon Marketing, is co-hosting. The Small Business Marketing Playbook podcast will be debuting soon and is co-hosted by Avram Gonzales, Founder of Digital Harvest. The Small Business Marketing Playbook podcast features Roger and Avram covering a range of topics that will help small- and medium-sized business owners get the most from their marketing efforts. More information coming soon.
When it comes to searching for tips on how to successfully promote your business, there is no shortage of information. Our blog alone, for example, offers a wide-range of topics from developing a marketing strategy to defining your unique value proposition to content marketing to understanding your target audience, etc. (You get the idea.)
With so much information available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to determine where and how you can begin to promote your business with success.
Our advice (from experience) is to start where you would anywhere else: at the beginning of the process with a set of rules and guidelines.
Successful marketers follow an underlying, if unspoken, set of rules that, when known and followed, allow marketers to maximize their experience. They are able to get the most from the time, money, and effort they invest in marketing their business and see boundless returns.
But because these rules are unspoken, you usually won’t see them written out neatly. You would have to pour through many websites, webinars, and guides just to get this information yourself.
That’s why, in this blog and the next, we’re going to examine the 10 Rules of Marketing. This blog covers the first five rules, which deal with preparation and mindset. The next blog will look at implementation and management of a marketing strategy.
So, here they are: the first five (of 10) Rules of Marketing
1. Marketing is a Must
You MUST promote yourself and your business—there are no ifs, ands, buts, or getting around that fact.
We live in a digitally crowded world. Everywhere you look, something or someone is competing for the attention of your target audience. Your ideal customer has more power than ever over the content they consume. If you choose NOT to compete by failing to market your business, you are giving up before you even have a chance to get started.
And you will lose out on revenue and market share.
To have a chance at capturing the attention of your audience, you have to find a way to compete and make your presence known.
2. Marketing is a Journey
If marketing is a must, you have to also accept that marketing is a journey. This rule was one of the tenets upon which we founded Beacon Marketing.
There are no quick solutions to marketing your business. Sure you can purchase paid ads. But even those need some preparation and knowledge, and, over time, you will most likely see diminishing returns.
Your goal with your business is undoubtedly prolonged success, which requires organic marketing efforts. This takes time and effort. You will need to build a presence across several different marketing platforms, create a following, and develop a relationship with your audience across these platforms.
None of these things happen overnight. They take time, effort, and maybe a little money. Most of all it takes patience.
3. Strategy Over Tactics
There are two ways to interpret this next rule.
The first way we have outlined in much of our content: you Start With Strategy. In this interpretation, for your marketing efforts to be successful, you must outline what success looks like and how you can go about achieving it. Failure to do so most likely will result in wasted time, wasted money, and a lot of frustration.
The second interpretation is a philosophical one. It’s the idea that you focus on developing sound strategies as opposed to focusing on tactics such as email marketing, Facebook ads, or even SEO for your website. Focusing on strategy over tactics in this sense means you are focused on developing sound internal policies and procedures that would allow you to best use the marketing tactics at your disposal. It prevents you from being beholden to one platform i.e. Facebook or principal of marketing i.e. SEO.
You are able to take a more agile approach to marketing and respond quicker to changing trends and new ideas.
4. Know Your Numbers
Before you begin marketing your business, take some time to understand the following:
- What is the lifetime value of a client?
- What services/products have the best profit margin?
- How much revenue do you need each month to make your marketing investment worthwhile?
- How much time and money can you spend on marketing each month?
Answering the above questions and any other that may pertain to the finances of your business allows you to understand your break-even point in marketing. You will be better able to evaluate your efforts and (hopefully) make smarter decisions concerning your marketing efforts.
5. Diversify Your Marketing Channels
Utilizing multiple marketing channels is something we have covered before. It allows you to create a larger digital footprint so you can reach a wider audience. And the larger your audience, the greater the chance you will start attracting the numbers you need to see ROI and more.
You also give your audience the chance to see you in different places and in different formats. And, as with the strategy over tactics rule, you are not beholden to one marketing channel or platform to spread the word of your business, which can hobble even the best strategy.
Rules and guidelines can help us break down complex ideas into smaller ideas that are easier to understand and implement. The above stand as a starting point for how you can start successfully promoting your business.
Stay tuned next week for the rules that help you better understand how you can begin to implement and manage your marketing strategy.