Businesses and nonprofits often ask me what they should be focusing on when it comes to marketing. It’s a good question because how you spend your time and energy is very important – but what goals and tasks should you prioritize?
The answer depends on where you are in your marketing business, the size of your company or organization, who your target market is, and of course what you are selling or asking money for. ALL of these factors have to be taken into consideration when figuring out your marketing mix. However, no matter what size you are, no matter what you sell or who your market is, there is ONE thing that you absolutely have to do.
Do you put out fires first thing Monday morning? The beginning of the week is always hectic. Mondays are rushed. It’s inevitable right? You have so much to do, like things left over from the week before as well as projects that were late to start. You are behind and you can’t get ahead. I get it.
Let’s say this week we are going to change things. Let’s take an honest look at what the most important work in your business is. I’ll suggest that one of those things is marketing. The reason being is because marketing is directly tied to your bottom line. If you don’t do some sort of marketing, you will struggle. If you don’t do marketing well , then your chances at failing in your business become, like rushed, hectic Mondays...inevitable.
I want to share a story with you.
The summer I turned 14 years old, my dad decided he was going to designate the task of cleaning windows to me. I was to go around the entire house and clean every window from the inside of the house. He would clean them from the outside.
So, I began. Mind you, by age 14 I had pretty much everything figured out, especially when it came to cleaning our house. I had a solid 5 years of experience cleaning our house. I got a rag, I got glass cleaner and I started cleaning. I imagined sparkling windows and my dad giving me huge praise for doing such a stupendous job. Instead, I got streaks. I got white spots and lots of fuzz from my rag. The windows were getting clean, but the results I wanted were no where to be found. While I cleaned and went from window to window, my dad kept telling me to use newspaper instead of a rag. I rolled my eyes every time. I thought to myself, "how in the heck would newspaper do the job better than a rag? He must be making it up. There goes dad again, trying to tell me how to do everything HIS way." I certainly did not need anyone telling me how to clean, of all things.
Yesterday, I read a report by MarketingProfs, a leading marketing research, and management company. One of many of organizations dedicated to studying and reporting on marketing and communications findings.
The report they published showed what major marketing departments across the U.S. are utilizing and spending their money on to get their message across to their target markets.
I am a huge advocate for reviewing your marketing plan and tactics every few months. At the very least, you should review it every 6 months. The end of July is right around the corner which is a perfect time to closely inspect all of your marketing to determine what is working and not working with your marketing.
Here is where most of my clients get stumped. They know the concept of reviewing, but they don't know what information they need to really look at to make decisions like, whether to spend more money on something, or to stop doing it all together.
I want to help make it simple.
I've been working in and teaching marketing now for over 13 years. I have practiced and preached all forms of marketing methods, processes, strategies and plans.
I'm knowledgeable when it comes to textbook definitions of branding, marketing, promotions, and sales. I have also gained a tremendous amount of experience and discovered some amazing insights as I've applied, taught, tweaked, and finally created my own method for marketing. Through it all, I discovered something so extraordinary, it blew my mind and it humbled me. I've learned what marketing really is and I've learned, unequivocally, what marketing is not.
It comes down to a fundamental human skill. One we use every day and every waking moment of our lives. Let me start off by telling you that, we all have the capacity to be marketing masters and that is why I want to share what I've discovered. This is my most important marketing advice ever. I hope you take a minute to read it, take it in and if compelled, share it with others. I want this to spread wide and far.
Inspiration, motivation, passion, and mission are all precursors for success. These things help launch the idea, product, program or service and give us the start for achieving success. But how do you actually get there? How do you get to the kind of success that goes viral, that starts trending, that is big, bold, and for some, sustainable? It comes from taking consistent action. One swim stroke, one step, one breath, one word, one brush stroke, one phone call, and one email at a time. This is continued over a long period of time. A long period of time is at least 6 months and most times, it can take a year or two, or even more, to see the results of your efforts.
It takes heartened commitment and sometimes it can be painful. So how does one do it? What is it that keeps us from derailing and getting off path? Many think it is inspiration or motivation that drives consistent action, but that's not it at all.
Creativity is such a buzz word. Everyone is talking about getting creative. But, putting all trends aside, creativity is a part of our human nature. So to be human is to create. We create everyday. For instance, if we look at just how we create our mornings we'd see, for example, that we create our outfit for the day, we create what we eat for breakfast, and we create our plans for how to most effectively get through our day. These are things we do anew every morning and we've formed a habit to create these things in the morning. Therein lies the secret. Habit. Creating a habit is probably one of the most important things you could create. It's actually quite wonderful to know that creativity is something that is innate in us and that we already know how to be creative. So creating the habit just means acknowledging that and then taking action. Today, I am going to write about getting more in touch with that most human part of us and tap into a incredibly intelligent resource within us to create huge results in our work.
4 things you are probably doing in your business or nonprofit that you need to stop doing immediately.
Many are walking a dangerous line. I’ll explain. Though the rules have changed, and many can sense this, and may even know logically that they need to change, they just haven’t changed the old way of doing things. This is primarily due to two things. 1) You don’t know what it is exactly that you need to change and 2) you haven’t broken your habits of operating the old way. Which also means you know what you need to change, but haven’t figured out how to implement the change.
Knowing is a big part of changing. So, let’s start with learning what it is we need to change immediately. I say immediately because continuing to operate in this way will absolutely lead to failure. A business and organization can no longer sustain themselves this way.
In the spring of 2013, I was taking a much needed hike with a good friend and colleague of mine, and I was going on about how I felt like nothing was going right for me. Even though I had just completed the 28 Day Marketing Challenge program with rave reviews and launched the Women Entrepreneurs Circle, not to mention my daughter was crazy fun, I was still somehow feeling as though I was falling down this rabbit hole with no end in sight. I told her how this crazy feeling of uncertainty and instability brought on anxiety, and even managed to crush my self confidence. Though I was doing so many great things and living a seemingly awesome life, I felt things were spiraling out of control and I was headed towards a slow doom.