Many people give advice on how to do great marketing, but few give advice on how to remain great at it. For example, I just did a Google search on “how to remain great at marketing” and guess what popped up on the first two pages — almost every link went to an article giving advice on how to “become” great at marketing, not how to “remain” or “continue to be” great at it. So, here’s hoping this blog will jump to the top of those rankings soon. LOL!!!
Interestingly, there are a lot of wildly successful companies who can attribute most of their success to their greatness at marketing. In fact, many of them admit to selling inferior products and/or services, but they excel at marketing and have enjoyed tremendous success because of it. At the same time, there are a lot of companies who sell superior products and/or services but the main reason they aren’t as successful is because they aren’t good at marketing (or simply don’t believe in it).
With that thought in mind, here are 3 Rules To Follow To Remain Great At Marketing.
Rule #1 – Believe In Marketing
My wife and I own a print advertising publication and I’ve worked in marketing for over a decade. One thing I’ve noticed is that companies who don’t believe in marketing or value it enough to spend time and money on it almost always seem to be the ones who continually say they’re struggling, can’t afford it, and ultimately go out of business. As sad as it is, we’ve seen what feels like hundreds of companies go out of business even within their first year of operating. Why? Here are traits most of them share:
- When they started, they were full of excitement and enthusiasm.
- They said they didn’t believe in marketing or didn’t think it was necessary because their products and/or services were really good and word-of-mouth advertising would work well enough, or they didn’t want to spend time and money on it.
- When they did spend money on marketing, it was always as little as possible.
- They couldn’t understand why customers didn’t just come to them without having to be advertised to since they had a location, store-front advertising, a website, and their company name and location information online.
- They blamed the economy or bad luck.
Sad but true, all of it. On the other hand, the most successful companies market themselves A LOT. For example, the most successful fast food restaurants advertise in print, on billboards, online, on the radio, TV, etc. Even the ones who sell food that doesn’t taste very good seem to stay busy enough to make good money. On the other hand, many locally owned restaurants struggle mightily and even go out of business within their first year.
Other examples of wildly successful companies who excel at marketing are Cabela’s, Walmart, Home Depot, Koles, My Sister’s Closet, SportClips, ADP, Toshiba, Callaway Golf, Walgreens, Coca Cola and Budweiser. Sure, these companies all have deep pockets, but part of the reason the money keeps coming in is because they keep their name and offerings on the minds of their most likely customers with consistent marketing.
Rule #2 – Spend Time and Money on Marketing
To emphasize this point, I’m reminded of the following saying I once read: “If you think education is expensive, how much does not having one cost?” The correlation is easy to understand because educated people tend to make much more money during their lifetimes and companies who excel at marketing usually make more money than their competitors who don’t.
As explained above, companies who don’t value marketing enough to spend time and money on it sometimes pay dearly. When done intelligently, marketing returns more money than it costs.
Rule #3 – Use a Variety of Marketing Tactics
Nobody ever knows for sure what individual marketing tactic will work best to engage their most likely customers. Online marketing was the greatest craze for a few years, but not everybody looks at it as much anymore. Print used to be king, but now there is more competition for people’s attention. Video marketing works great, but even then not everyone watches videos when given the chance. Email marketing and SEO tactics only average about a 3% – 5% response rate, and marketing on the radio can be hit or miss depending on when the messages get played and who hears them. The same is true for TV.
With those points in mind, companies usually enjoy the most success when they include a variety of tactics. The Rule of 5 to 7 in marketing is true, and it states that a prospect needs to hear an advertiser’s message at least 5 to 7 times before they’ll take action to buy their product or service. If you consider how busy people are, without a company having a clearly defined marketing strategy to determine how they’ll engage their prospects at least 5 to 7 times, their odds of success are pretty slim.
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