The world of marketing is always changing, says Orlando Espinosa, of Emineo Media. As buyer expectations shift while technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, marketing cannot stand still.
Yet, he says, marketing is often not top of mind for growing small businesses. If you want to see real results, marketing can’t be an afterthought, he said. Instead it must be a habit that you consistently prioritize and improve upon all year long. A good marketing mindset now only puts your customer at the center of things, it also helps you develop your sales process. That’s why he led a virtual workshop called Build Your Marketing Mindset for Florida SBDC at FIU recently.
Marketing and advertising specialist Tasha Cunningham of The Brand advocates, Scott Tubbs of Emineo Media, Cristina Serralta of Amazon Services and Karen Vieria of The Med Wrtiers joined him to offer their tips and expertist to the discussion.
A rule of thumb is most small businesses should spend 10 to 20 percent of their annual revenue on marketing, but even 5 percent can make a difference.
To change your marketing mindset and to make marketing a priority, give yourself permission to make the changes in phases. Here are some tips from the panel:
- Analyze your current marketing strategy. What lead generation tactics do you use and which ones are most successful? Are you reaching customers where they are? The track resulst of each marketing tactic, including the number of leads it generated and the cost. Which ones give you the best ROI?
- Create a marketing calendar – in other words, what marketing goes out when. Your calendar should include followups, emails, blog posts, social posts and promotions, including mail if appropriate. Line up your marketing with holidays, seasons etc. The calendar will keep you in the mindset and it will keep you on track.
- Take stock of all your marketing collatoral. Rethink and reuse what you have already developed for your web website, brochures, white papers, mailers, blog posts, newsletters, etc. Often you don’t need to reinvent the wheel – instead you can repurpose what you have.
- The easiest customer to get is the customer you already have. Can you reactivate them? Can you upsell them, cross-sell them, resell them? When you do followups with customers, let them know about what’s new coming out. It’s an easy sell sometimes. Relationship building is critical here.
- In utilizing social media channels and email marketing, make sure you are meeting your customers where they are – and at the right times. Email blast platforms can automatically send your blast out at the highest read times. Hootsuite or sprout social will tell you the best time to post your marketing message.
- Set daily and weekly goals. The mindshift begins to happen when you begin to think of marketing not just to grab attention, but to hold attention. Marketing is not just for crafting messages, it is for designing experiences for your customer. This will lead to more sales.
- Sometimes you don’t have to get all techy. Target marketing with mailers works great for a pizza shop targeting the neighborhood.
- Launch quickly, revise frequently. Having something is better than nothing. Perfection doesn’t exist. Keep it simple and get it out there. It might make your phone ring.
Building a marketing mindset can take your business to the next level. When Vieria shifted her marketing mindset, she took her business from essentially a solo business to a company drawing millions in revenue. As a business owner, marketing must be top of mind. It’s a commitment that will pay dividends.
To hear more of this panel’s advice, listen to the webinar here.