Marketing your a small business can be a sometimes frustrating - sometimes rewarding, experience. I suppose we all have some level of love-hate relationship with marketing.
In my observation, some of the “hate” part comes from feeling at a loss for why results aren’t coming. We put in the time and money, we update the website..., and wonder why there is not a proportional uptick in business. Something’s not working, but we can’t see it.
The underlying problem is in a blind spot.
For many companies, the blind spots come from a failure to recognize the full lifecycle of marketing -- nurturing the relationship with a new contact through several stages that may not follow a straight path and may take place over a long time.
So where are the blind spots in your marketing? Let’s find out.
While it’s certainly important for your company’s marketing to attract new contacts who have the potential to use your products or services, your marketing must also address the other life stages of your relationships with clients, prospects, and partners.
Those stages are:
- Awareness/Visibility: how are new prospective clients and partners becoming aware of your business and the problems it can help them solve?
- Engagement: once these people are aware, how does your marketing inspire the ones whose problems are more pressing to “raise their hand” so your business can recognize them as having greater potential? Perhaps more importantly, how does your marketing keep them (and your partners, former clients, current clients..) engaged over time?
- Getting presentations: for a subset of the contacts who engage in some way, their need is pressing. How does your marketing make it obvious to them that they should have a conversation with you or a member of your sales team? With current and past clients, how does your marketing inspire new sales conversations?
- Closing sales: marketing certainly plays a role in successfully securing new business. Collateral pieces support those sales conversations and marketing events, or activities give salespeople additional ways to maintain or increase momentum of a decision.
To get a better idea of where your blind spots are (and we all have them), start by asking yourself these questions for each of the 4 stages:
- What activities are we pursuing?
- What content or materials do we have (and keep up to date) to support those activities?
- What are we measuring at that level of the cycle/funnel to gauge our success?
Use this Marketing Blind Spot Worksheet to gather answers about your marketing. What sections are blank or weak? Voila, those are your blind spots! Fill those first for fastest results. I've included a second sample worksheet with ideas to inspire you.
Note that for Engagement and Getting presentations stages in particular, you need to ask yourself these simple questions a few times -- once for new prospects, once for existing clients, once for past clients, once for partners, etc. All of these audiences need regular nurturing to keep them engaged and inspire them to request a conversation.
If you’d like to upgrade your marketing ROI with more prospects, clients, and profits, then NOW is the time to identify and resolve your blind spots. I hope you found this exercise useful. If you’re not confident in your plan or know that you want help, apply for a Marketing Strategy Session. I will help you get clear on the most important next steps for your marketing success.