10 Things to Improve Your Small Business Marketing Results

by / ⠀Finding Customers Startup Advice / July 23, 2009


1.Marketing is as much an art as it is a science. Plan, test, execute, and measure, but never be surprised by uncertainty and change.

In our eagerness to measure and declare return on investment for all marketing spends,
we often forget that humans are unpredictable. As such, we can’t always predict a
market reaction or group think. Testing helps minimize the chances of this but
historically it is like the weather. We can predict some things but often not with precise
timing or impact. While we must embark on programs we feel have a high likelihood to
generate results, don’t be stuck doing what everyone else does. Can you be the Apple of
your industry?

2. You usually need to bang on the same prospect door four or more times before someone answers. Make sure that you have the right address.

Be sure you have a target list and target profile that you are confident represents
qualified leads BEFORE you spend money on any program. Just because you gave out
1000 pens at the tradeshow doesn’t mean you have any real leads. Know who and why
people will buy your products or service and not someone else’s.

3. You are not your customer. Never assume you know them that well.

Just because you buy products or even buy your own product, never assume that you are
a typical customer. Don’t even assume there is such a thing as a “typical customer”.
There may be types of customers at best. Learn your customer demographics and
psychographics. Once you “get” them, marketing “gets” much easier.

4. Restricted resources represent an opportunity to embrace creativity and revisit comfort.

Economic downturns force us to look within and find ways to improve productivity and
reduce waste. It’s hard to readjust the way we work but it’s a great time update business
processes and marketing assumptions. Use the opportunity to revitalize your
perspective and take the lead away from dormant competitors.

5. Don’t confuse prospect enthusiasm for purchase authority.

”I love your product” doesn’t mean “I will buy your product” in any language. People
will say nice things out of courtesy, lack of confidence, politics and for many other
reasons that don’t require them to take out their wallet. Asking prospects directly who
and how purchase decisions are made could save you enormous efforts. If you just want
perpetual positive feedback, get a dog.

6. Motivate don’t manipulate.

Find reasons why people want to work at your company or buy your products such that
it improves THEIR lives, not their company’s. People don’t do things usually unless
they get something of clear personal value in return. Figure out what that is and then use
that as your currency. How will your product or service make them look better at work
or home? Will it increase their revenues or reduce their expense? Nothing else matters.
Just ask Maslow.

7. Quality precedes quantity.

More leads and more sales may sound great but only if you can support and follow up
with them. Damage to your reputation and costly repairs will be the result when
customers or prospects are left hanging. When identifying leads, save your sales team
the pain of sifting through hoards of simply breathing prospects and provide them a list
of really qualified leads. This saves everyone – your sales people, the prospects and your
marketing team ? a ton of time, money and aggravation.

8. The best teachers are students.

Your best weapons are your ears. By listening more so you can understand other
people’s needs and desires. A defensive posture is never welcoming and it is incredibly
attractive to your prospects when you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
Build your own bandwagon by inviting other opinions and input to gain buy?in and
team membership. Exercise your intellect and creativity by asking questions, trying new
technologies and reading a broad variety of information. An open mind closes more

9. Confidence sells. BS smells.

Say to yourself: “What would Barack do?”

10. Spend only if you would be willing to pick up the tab.

It’s easy to spend company money so next time you approve a marketing expense, think
about it coming out of your own potential bonus or salary increase. While you do need
to spend money to do marketing, make sure you are being responsible with assets that
really are yours even though you don’t balance that specific check book. Be responsible
with your marketing spend as well as your impact on the earth and society. We all can
make a difference.

Alyssa Dver from NoTimeMarketing.com is Formerly a CMO for a public company, Dver is chief executive for Mint Green Marketing which consults for companies ranging from large multinationals to small startups. In 2007, BusinessWeek recognized Dver as one of 8 female entrepreneurs to watch. She authored the well?endorsed books, “No Time Marketing” and previously, “Software Product Management Essentials”. A featured columnist for Software Magazine, she has also been published in Forbes, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Promo Magazine, and dozens of others. A graduate of Wharton Business School, she is currently working towards her PhD at the University of East London.

About The Author


Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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