Palo Alto Software is proud to welcome Scott Campbell, one of the Duct Tape Marketing Coaches that will be posting over the next several months.
The recent words of the President had not only meaning for the typical citizen, but should have had a lot of meaning for the typical small business owner. The truth is that we as business owners have let a lot of important things fall by the wayside over the years. Not to say that a lot of hard work hasn’t been put in…it has. But marketing is one function of a business that has typically been cast aside.
At the small business level, because few companies have departments dedicated to promotion, the function of marketing is truly a discipline. While it’s generally considered critically important to the growth and health of a business, it’s an area that has been left low on the list of priorities in lieu of more pressing obligations. During the good times, business tends to trickle in regardless of any proactive promotional processes in place. But in the more challenging periods, the lack of any organized effort becomes a glaring problem.
But times have truly changed and it’s become clearer that important areas of the business like marketing cannot be left on the back burner anymore. They need time and attention. A good example is the development of a basic marketing plan. Studies show that few (less than 5% of small businesses) ever even create an organized marketing plan. The overall effect is a sea of rudderless businesses bumping into each other. The benefits of a marketing plan are many, yet business owners generally consider it a chore that can be set aside for a rainy day. The mindset will have to change.
Discipline and responsibility on the owner’s part are just as important when developing ongoing marketing processes such as search engine optimization plans or direct mail campaigns. These areas are just as critical now to a healthy business as are operations…and the great thing is that the costs of the marketing activities, particularly at the small business level, don’t have to be exorbitant. The key to success is frequency. But the bottom line, as we’ve all heard many times in the past, is that you don’t make widgets anymore…you market widgets. Effort and focus needs to be placed on all the areas of the business…operations, accounting and marketing.
It’s through this balanced approach that you’ll see business health and growth return to our economy.
Scott Campbell is the President of Atlanta marketing firm Impact Marketing, a marketing coaching/consulting firm that focuses on the Building Sector. Scott has helped numerous businesses break out of the traditional processes that don’t work very well anymore into approaches that are more effective and applicable today. He is a sought-after speaker, writer and blogger on the core subject of direct marketing.