Depending on how long you’ve been involved in small business marketing you have probably heard either of these pieces of advice, “Do what you have always done and you’ll always get what you always got” and “More of what’s not working won’t help”?
The first one is no longer valid and the second one gets proven in the small business world everyday.
When it comes to small business marketing why does the first statement not work anymore? Simple, with all the changes that bombard our businesses, clientele and technology on a daily basis it is ludicrous to expect the same results. You see examples of small businesses sticking to outdated and unimaginative approaches to marketing and then being surprised with declining results.
In a recent marketing analysis I did with a local business owner I did a very poor job of keeping a poker face. His business was now in such dire straits that they had gone from a fancy office with many employees to a few employees working from the kitchen table at home. His company had tried “cold calling” as their main strategy to build their business. The results were dismal.
What was the logical response to their poor results? You guessed it, they hired more people to cold call. They lost more than most small businesses will earn in the next 5 years. When I asked him why they would pour more money into something that was clearly not working he responded with, “We figured we just needed to get our name out there more and eventually things would take off!” The only thing that took off was their money and eventually their employees.
I’m not going to beat this fellow up because we are all guilty of hanging in too long with an ineffective small business marketing strategy or two. That is why it is so important to be able to step back and evaluate your marketing efforts. Are they working? Are they cost effective? Are they getting you the results you want? If not, how long do you plan to continue using them before finding something better? How long can you afford to stick with something that isn’t working?
If your small business marketing strategies and tactics have no history of working for you then you have to find ones that do. It’s that simple.