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Ten signs that you could do with strategic marketing advice

Ten signs that you could do with strategic marketing advice

February 01, 2012 by Bryony Thomas

There are hundreds of potential marketing advisors for a small business owner. From design agencies, PR specialists, telemarketers, SEO experts, social media bods, media planners, and on, and on. It’s difficult to know who to talk, when and why.

Here are ten signs that you could do with some proper strategic marketing input:

  • You’re not 100% sure where new business actually comes from – how do they find your site? What prompts them to pick up the phone, etc?
  • You’ve done some work with an agency, but you weren’t too chuffed with the output – what was the brief?
  • You get lots of leads, but they don’t seem to convert – what is the sales journey, and how well supported is it with powerful marketing content?
  • You get enquiries for work that you don’t really like doing – is your business clear about what it does best?
  • You’re always screwed down on price – does your brand and messaging set your business apart?
  • When asked what your business does, your people all say something different – is your team clear on what you’re about?
  • You rarely get repeat business or referrals – is your customer marketing and networking strategy creating advocates for your business?
  • If one big customer left you’d be in trouble – is your business over reliant on one customer, or one market?
  • You’ve tried telemarketing, PR, advertising or another tactic and it hasn’t delivered – do you have an integrated plan with momentum that all fits together and ties into your sales process?
  • You’ve read the books and been to some courses – do you know that you need to give marketing some attention, but never quite get around to it when you’re back at the office?

These are all real scenarios that we’ve heard from small business owners in the last 18 months. Small businesses often make do with a ‘marketing-come-reception’ set-up, working with the marketing suppliers run by friends of friends, or the people down the road. And, there’s nothing wrong with that…if you know exactly what you’re doing on the marketing front. If you have an effective strategy clearly mapped-out, and a good grasp of the interplay of the key marketing tactics, you can indeed put together a top notch freelance team to deliver against your sales and marketing objectives. If, however, you’re feeling your way through the discipline, working it out as you go, then you’ll probably find that each supplier you speak to seems to sound pretty sensible.

You may struggle to find your way through all the ‘good ideas’ that they come up with to configure a watertight marketing operation that supports every step of your sales funnel.

In larger organisations it’s the job of the marketing director to pull all this together. Coming in on salaries upwards of £65k, most small business owners we meet simply can’t afford to have a hard-hitting marketing director on their team. So, what do you do? If you find yourself nodding in recognition at any of the statements above, it would be sensible to find yourself a strategic marketing partner who can be your marketing brain – working out what you need to say, to whom, when and through what channel.

  • Bryony Thomas is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and a marketing consultant, speaker, and author. Her first book – Watertight Marketing – is available Summer 2012

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