The image of a company reflects its owner
If you want to understand most companies, especially small businesses, look at the owner.
This will allow you get to know about the brand. The owner’s point of view, habits, and strategy shape the company. If the owner is productive, his business is charging forward to reach its goals, create content, and sell effectively. On the other hand, if he is counterproductive, the company often goes in a far different direction than it should. Let’s see some of the key traits that can be counterproductive, and how to avoid them.
Too many products or services
People might think that offering a lot of products creates more customers, but usually they end up creating unhappy customers instead. Offering too many choices can break the business into many parts, and takes the focus away from the field where the business excels. It steals time and resources from the best-selling products and services, and can leave the business owner and team tired, unfocused, and overwhelmed. The result? Unhappy customers and bad customers who won’t give you positive references and testimonials.
Ad-hoc projects, half-completed jobs, unfinished campaigns. Sound familiar? If yes, I highly recommend that you plan a week, a month, or even a year ahead. It’s very beneficial for you to know what kind of projects you have to do to guide your company along the path you have envisioned. Careful planning gives you step-by-step instructions on what to do to finish your current project, and how to prepare for the next one.
Good ideas, but no implementation
There are business owners who have millions of new ideas, and come up with new ones every day. Most usually start to work on the latest idea that is the often the most interesting and exciting, and may skip over another idea that was just as good, but isn’t as bright and shiny as the newest one. Does this mean that you should implement every idea? Definitely not—there are always ideas you don’t have to (or even shouldn’t) execute. Whenever you have a new idea, look at it closely, think about it, brainstorm with your partners or co-workers, and take time to research it on the Internet. It might be something that is not as important, or won’t generate the success that it seemed it would at first sight. Or, it just may be that one idea that will revolutionize an industry.
Using the marketing placebo
What is the marketing placebo? That’s what I call those actions that don’t generate measurable results or have a noticeable impact, but make you feel better about your business efforts because you “did something for marketing”. Some common examples of the marketing placebo include:
- Campaigns that you don’t measure. If you don’t measure the results, you have no idea how successful or unsuccessful they were.
- Ads that are not strategic. If you are just advertising your product to advertise your product, without a strategic plan and goal, then it is marketing money poorly spent.
- Websites that don’t bring a benefit. Having a website just because everyone else does isn’t enough. If it doesn’t grab customers’ attention or generate leads, it’s time to rethink the design, the content you have posted, and most importantly, the purpose of the website itself.
- Social media activities that consume your time but don’t generate leads, profit, or engagement, are time lost from more productive opportunities.
- Marketing tips and advice that are not reliable and not from a professional source. Be careful: there are many “marketers” and “marketing programs” that offer “placebos” instead of useful information and ideas. Many of the so-called guaranteed marketing programs offered by high-pressure marketers are, to quote Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “…. a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
- Brochures that don’t motivate your potential customers to take the next step. Sending a lot of information may seem like a good idea, but if you don’t tie that information to a call to action, your customers won’t know what you want them to do.
- Business cards that don’t stand out. Sure, your business cards should contain your contact information, but they also need to grab people’s attention, and inform them about your company and products.
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So what should you do?
It may seem obvious, but for many business owners, it’s the biggest hurdle: Minimize the things what make your company counterproductive. The first step is to recognize what things are counterproductive, and take action to get rid of them. Think about your marketing tools: what really works? And which are the ones that don’t work, but you just do them to make feel like you are doing something for marketing?
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Now stop reading, and start creating.