Tuesday, December 14, 2010


 By Kevin Thomas
Whenever I meet a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur the first question I ask is "how does your Marketing measure up"? Their usual response is that their Marketing Sucks! How about yours? If you are like most, Marketing is the last thing that you work on in your business. 

You are either doing the technical part of your business or you are putting out fires. You usually don't have a clear plan or strategy on how to set up a successful Marketing initiative in your organization. 

Most of the time, we are being reactive instead of proactive. We wait until business slows down and then we put a bunch of money into different media sources in hopes that business gets better. 

Typically, this doesn't work. But if it does, we don't measure it, to see what part of our message inspired our clients to come in the door or call us on the phone. If you would like to develop a Marketing Strategy that will give you awesome results, consistent traffic and more profits, I encourage you to read on. These are the 10 Powerful Musts that your Marketing Plan should have. 

You must have 10 Marketing Strategies active at all time 

Most companies have three or less strategies working for them and because of that their message doesn't reach their customers in enough time for it to stick. Researches show that a potential client must hear, see or experience your message 9 times or more before deciding to do business with you. 

Your website, your TV ad and your print advertising alone, isn't enough to drive the traffic that you need to make your business successful. I teach my clients how to determine the 10 affordable mediums that they can use to get their message out, so that they can attract more clients to them.
Your Marketing Message must address your target market and their interests directly
Your message must be focused.....like a laser beam on your target market. It must speak to their needs directly and clearly. For instance, an auto repair facility may communicate that they are the local experts for European automobiles. By doing this, they have separated themselves from every other repair facility in their area. Anyone who owns a European automobile now has a local expert that they can take their vehicle to.
Your Marketing Message must be consistent across all mediums you use
Many Business Owners are their own worst enemy. This is because they are communicating one message in one ad and another, somewhere else. We mentioned earlier that it takes nine or more impressions before someone makes a decision to purchase from you. If you are sending multiple messages, it will dilute your voice and cost you opportunities.
You must track all leads and know what Marketing Medium brought your prospect to contact you
There is an old saying, "What you measure you will manage". You must know what is working and what is not. If you are advertising somewhere that is delivering results, you want to stay there. If you are advertising somewhere that isn't giving results, drop it and put your money somewhere else. Most business owners have a general idea of what medium is bringing clients in but are not sure. You must track this area. It is as simple as asking a couple of questions or adding a box on your website that asks the client how they heard about you.
Your Marketing Message must be dramatically different from your competitors'
In my Companies, I am constantly watching, reading and listening to my competitors' marketing messages. Most of them look, sound and feel identical because they are put together by the advertising sales reps. They are not marketing experts. Their goal is to sell you space and get a commission......not to help you develop a marketing strategy. If you look at the newspaper ads for Car Dealerships, you will see exactly what I am talking about. Remember, "Same is Lame".
You must constantly be looking for ways to provide additional Products and Services to your target Market.
I call this recycling your customer. You must look for ways to get your customer to continue to spend money with you. Look at Wal-Mart. They started selling just household products and now they sell groceries, electronics, jewelry, etc. You can even get your oil changed, do your banking, get an eye exam or have your taxes prepared while you are there! What products and services compliment what you are currently selling? How can you add that to your existing operation? By doing this, you will add value to your current business model as well as become a one stop shop for your clients. This makes their life easier and it will increase your bottom line.
You must maintain a current database of your current and potential customers
It blows me away when I sit down with a client and they don't have an organized database of their clients. How can you stay in touch with them to share about the new promotions that you have going on? How can you follow up with them to see how the product that you sold them is working out for them? Without a database, you cannot. You must develop one so that you can remind them that you are still here and more importantly that you still care.
You must use strategies such as Guarantees and Testimonials to enhance your Marketing Message in all communications
People love testimonials and guarantees. This gives your potential client the warm and fuzzy feeling that they need to feel comfortable about doing business with you. If they read or see how your product or service has helped hundreds of people improve their lives, save money, time or increase their income, they are more likely to do business with you over your competitor. 

Your guarantees show the potential client how much confidence that you have in your product or service. Offering powerful guarantees such as warranties and full refunds, if not satisfied, proves to the consumer that there is no risk involved with doing business with you. If your competitor doesn't say these things, it may show that they are not willing to back up what they are selling.
Your Marketing Message must tell your prospect what to do next in making contact with you
After hearing your message, your prospect must be directed on how they should contact you. Should they email, call, write or come in? You cannot assume that they know, you must tell them. They will appreciate you for this.
You must communicate with past customers on a regular basis to ensure that they come back again and again.
The easiest sale is to those who have already done business with you. How are they going to remember you if you don 't communicate with them? I encourage my clients to stay in touch with their clients a minimum of 4 times per year. I advise them to stay away from big holidays such as Christmas and Easter because everyone sends cards during these times. Consider sending something on their birthday, the Fourth of July, New Years Day and Labor Day. You will probably be the only person they receive a card from on any of these given days.
If you develop your Marketing plan using the 10 Powerful Musts, you will increase your business with both new clients as well as returning clients. You will also see an increase in referrals to your business. The best businesses understand that marketing is the most important part of their business because without customers you have no business.
So what are you going to do next?
Well, you can go down to your local college and sign up for a Marketing course if you have the time to do so. Most business owners don 't. You can read a bunch of books and extract the principles outlined, but that takes time and disciple. Or you can hire a Marketing Coach who will help you develop the strategies that we have outlined. By doing so you enjoy the privilege of having your customer pipeline filled at all times.
I am currently enrolling students in my Marketing mastermind group. If you'd like more information please email me at Kevin@southeastbusinessdoctor.com. I will send you a fre-e Marketing Evaluation.
About the Author
Kevin Thomas is a serial entrepreneur, licensed business coach, and a motivational and inspirational speaker. Kevin is currently working with Business Owners who are in the top five percent of their field or have aspirations to be there. Kevin is a master in business strategies which have helped him build several businesses that run successfully without him. If you would like to receive his success secrets newsletter, go to http://www.southeastbusinessdoctor.com .

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