Questions and issues seem to pop up continually when you’re a business owner. These issues fall into so many different categories– marketing, sales, legal, operations, planning, people, financial– business would go so much more smoothly if we could each be an expert in all of them! When your area of specialty simply doesn’t cover it all, you rack your brain and come up with a way to get support or find someone who’s a good fit to help.
We all need someone who offers the top-notch expertise that we need to move forward. Have you got “a guy” for that? I’m your guy. I’ve surrounded myself with a trustworthy network of top-notch service firms. If I can’t directly support your needs, I know someone who can. It’s time for action!
Fundamentals 3.0: Marketing
Marketing vs. Advertising
Marketing is action we take to promote products or services– it includes everything we do to reach and persuade prospects. Without successful marketing, we wouldn’t have prospective customers.
Advertising is distinct because it generally refers to the “renting” of ad space, whether that space is in a magazine, on a billboard, or on social media.
Sales vs. Marketing
If marketing is what brings us leads and prospective customers, sales is everything we do to make sure we close the deal. Marketing engages prospects from a distance, while sales engages them on a personal level. Creating value for your company and being successful in your enterprise requires both. When marketing and sales don’t work together obstacles are created. Too often these are organized as separate departments with very little interchange of updates or ideas.
Solid marketing adds value to the sales process, while a good sales process can potentially improve marketing efforts through customer feedback and an increased understanding of the market. When sales and marketing work together effectively there is serious potential for growth.
Active Direction for Business Marketing
Marketing efforts prepare your prospects to make a purchase, so these efforts should include strategies designed to persuade prospects that your product, service or company is the best match for them. Marketing methods are numerous and include:
- Public relations
- Social media
- Relationship marketing
- Brand marketing
- Email and direct mail
These methods can be very useful but can also be a waste of resources unless you have a way to measure effectiveness. It’s true that empires are built over time, and there are many types of businesses that must invest significant amounts of time and resources into marketing before seeing much return. You’ll want to know what to expect before heading into the game.
Your marketing plan is a road map of how you’ll share information about your business and its products or services. It should reflect your overall business plan and involve a mix of methods to support your enterprise and drive sales. Marketing firms create a rough outline of this roadmap, often in an initial marketing proposal, and discuss options with you. When you actively measure effectiveness and include your sales team in the process, marketing dollars are money well spent. No matter who is handling your marketing, it’s beneficial for you to be actively involved in the big picture. And it’s important to ask questions. Just say the word when you’re ready to discuss your marketing– it’s a crucial area that must be addressed and reevaluated regularly.
Highlights from Hinge Research Institute High Growth Study 2020 All Professional Services Edition
Exactly who was studied? Why? And when did the study commence?
The study began by systematically measuring compound annual growth rates of professional services firms in 2015 and moved forward from there. More than 1,000 professional services firms from organizations across six continents participated in this study designed to shed light on what drives extraordinary growth in professional services.
The participating firms represent all types of professional services with a wide range of firm sizes. Participants have over 70 billion dollars in combined revenues and employ more than one million combined full-time staff.
- Overall growth was seen across the professional services industries over the five years studied.
- Software and technology companies saw the highest rates of growth.
- The professional services marketplace is in the middle of a digital transformation as digital marketing is increasing across the industries.
- The industries demonstrated a systematic relationship between annual growth rates and the proportion of leads coming from online sources. Specific marketing tactics employed included: social media networking, email marketing, blogging, webinars, case stories, and SEO.
- Frequent research into target markets with the purpose of informing branding strategy and marketing strategy gives the highest growth companies a significant growth advantage. It’s advantageous for companies to research issues and topics relevant to their target markets because it can provide high-value marketing content while positioning the firm as “thought leader.”
- The highest growth firms were 75% more likely to have a visible expert on staff than their low growth competitors.
By comparing your marketing practices to those of high performers, you can start modeling your marketing to the fastest growing and most profitable firms in the world.
It’s ideal for business owners to know a good deal about all aspects of business, but too often they learn the hard way about risky gaps in their mix. I provide the crucial support that identifies deficiencies and fills in the gaps, mitigating the impact of loss and regret– that’s how I serve. And I’m able to identify the obstacles that are ahead, allowing owners to successfully navigate around them.
I bring improvements to businesses, increasing appeal to potential investors and increasing the bottom line. Moving forward with heightened confidence and support, you’ll sleep better at night.
Seek expertise. Reap long term benefits.