By Michele Pariza Wacek
I thought I would clear up some misconceptions about marketing in
this two-part series: What Marketing
Can Do For You and What Marketing Can't Do
For You. This issue is about what marketing can't do.
Whilst there's no
question a solid marketing program can increase your business, it can't fix
everything. Below are 5 things marketing can't do for you:
can't make you an overnight success.
Just because you start a marketing
doesn't mean you're immediately going to see your business explode. Marketing
is about getting your name in front of your target market on a regular basis
they finally decide to give you a try.
On that note, if you're in trouble
right now - sales are down, a new business isn't getting off the ground like you
planned -- depending on how bad the trouble is a marketing program may not be
enough to save you. A successful marketing program needs time to work and more
likely than not, a little money as well. If you're panicked about one (or more
likely both) you may need to start looking at other options.
is not about doing something once and forgetting about it.
The very best
marketers test. And test. And test.
For instance, maybe your Web site
isn't converting visitors to customers as well as it should be. You could hire a
copywriter to tweak it for you. You could test the different elements to see
what raises your conversion level. That's one way to use testing. You can also
test different headlines, different offers, etc.
3. Marketing can't fix
a bad experience.
This is a big one. If your customers have a lousy experience
with your products or services or with your customer service reps or sales
people, etc., that's it. Worse yet, not only have you lost a customer for good,
that customer will probably tell others about their bad experience. So now
you've lost more potential customers as well.
Marketing can get people in
the door, but it can't ensure they'll have an experience they'll want to repeat.
Before assuming more marketing is what you need, take a moment and make sure
your current customers are truly satisfied with your business.
Marketing can't fix a flawed business.
Much like tip number 3, marketing
fix cash flow issues or staff problems.
Okay, I can hear all of you saying "Of course,
marketing can't fix cash flow problems. Do you think we're stupid?" My answer is
no, I don't think you're stupid at all. I think what happens is sometimes you
get so caught up in the day-to-day challenges of running a business you can't
see the forest for the trees.
Let me explain. Let's say you have a
business that's struggling with cash flow. The first thing that springs to mind
may be revving up marketing. After all, the idea behind marketing is to increase
revenue. On the surface that makes sense. However, if you look a little closer,
what you might find are expenses that are out of whack or not getting invoices
out in a timely manner. So what you should be fixing is your accounting problems
rather than changing your marketing.
5. Marketing can't make people buy
things they either don't want or can't afford.
It doesn't matter how
product or service is, if you're selling to people who either don't have the
interest or the means to buy it, then your marketing is going to fail no matter
how brilliant it may be.
So basically it all boils down to this, before
you decide you need more marketing, take a few moments and make sure marketing
is really the right solution for your business.
Creativity Exercise --
Before you launch into a new marketing program, take some
time to analyze what's really happening in your business. Do you really need a
marketing program or is your problem:
You aren't able to close the
leads you have
You aren't invoicing in a
timely manner or following up with unpaid accounts
Your customers aren't happy
with the product or service
Your customers are having a
bad experience with technical support or something else in the process isn't
Your target market isn't right
You aren't passionate about
what you're doing anymore
Your business has way too many
And so on. Basically I just
want you to make sure marketing really is your problem before you start fiddling
If you want to grow your business, then you should be
consistently marketing your business. But if you're using marketing as a bandaid
for some other problem, then you could be headed for trouble.
2005 Michele Pariza Wacek
About the Author:
|Michele Pariza Wacek is
the author of "Got Ideas? Unleash Your Creativity and Make More Money." She
offers two free e-zines that help subscribers combine their creativity with
hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at
attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She
can be reached at http://www.TheArtistSoul.com.