Ask yourself, “What is marketing?” Do you understand how marketing can improve or damage the results of business operations? Many small business owners and middle level managers think they have a grasp on the principle of marketing until asked to discuss their strategy. Every business should have a marketing plan in place and make reasonable assessments of said plan to ensure continued growth and positive returns.
Nothing makes me cringe more than hearing an owner say that he/she doesn’t need to invest in marketing for one reason or another. Even in the most favorable of circumstances of profit margins being met, no one can predict the future. There are competitors, customer behaviors, supply costs, technological advances, and so much more that can change so rapidly that those who do not acknowledge are destined to fail.
Double A Market Consultants adheres to the motto “PROSPECT. CONSULT. DEVELOP. PRESENT. CUSTOMIZE. IMPLEMENT. FEEDBACK.” because that is our strategy. The motto is an ongoing cycle that self corrects. Regardless of the business type, most companies operate in this cyclical nature with some cycles taking longer to complete than others. A manager should measure the company’s business cycle in comparison to others in the industry. In other words, how quickly are customers moving from the first step to the last and back to the first, and is it comparable to that of the competition? Once this is known, a plan can be developed to address the realized outcome.
Business owners sometimes focus on one aspect of marketing. Almost every time I go out to meet owners, someone will respond that advertising is an expense that cannot be afforded. Advertising is but one part of the marketing strategy, but just like company uniforms, a catchy tagline, an ideal location, or hot product, advertising is just a spoke on the wheel of marketing. It may be true that advertising is not cost worth adding; it does not absolve one from having an ongoing marketing strategy. Ironically, one can have a marketing strategy that literally states that advertising will not be used.
It is a requirement that all business have a marketing strategy. You would be pressed to find an existing business that does not rely on marketing. Marketing, in the simple terms, is the means in which a business communicates its purpose to customers. It develops customer expectation for satisfaction. It conveys need satisfaction. It is safe to say that nearly all misunderstandings between customers and businesses find origin in an undeveloped marketing strategy. Research begets strategy; strategy begets customer satisfaction.
Remember this one thought: your customers have a need to satisfy; it is your duty to decide to provide satisfaction and in what manner.