It is very important, no matter your profession, that you take ownership of your product or service. Here is my advice to everyone when it comes to trying to grow your business through some sort of marketing or advertising plan.
First, I ask are you ready…ARE YOU PREPARED! This is not meant to be sarcastic. You need to have all of your processes in place before you start bringing people through your door (or virtual door). If your website is in disarray…if your customer service policies are not in place…if your measurement plan is not in place…if you’re not fully staffed etc…. then you’re going to have a hard time reaching success. So, I try to consult with businesses, BEFORE they take their product or service to market. There is no doubt we can get individuals to sample you, but when they do…you need to be ready. First impressions are everything.
Secondly, when you are prepared to go to market, BE PATIENT. There are no advertising companies that can promise you overnight success. If they do, hesitate to use them. Unless you are going to spend millions of dollars to flood a designated marketing area within a short amount of time, you will need to be realistic about your short-term results. “Great Campaigns” with a multi-layered approach will still take 3 to 6 months to stick, depending upon your level of spend. So keep a realistic expectation of your results, but know that with consistency, you WILL get what you are looking for…GROWTH.
Thirdly, MEASURE EVERYTHING! Once you start marketing and advertising, you will need to make sure that each of the mediums that you use has a way to track success. If you are doing print, use a trackable coupon that is exclusive to each outlet. If you are using internet advertising, gage your success on “where” the clicks come from and “how much time” was spent on your website from that click. Click Through Ratio (CTR) is a bogus piece of measurement. I can personally click on your advertisement hundreds of times, or accidentally click on your ad, but never really spend any time on your site. Time spent in and around your brand is a more important measurement. Coupons and Direct Response also work well on the internet and are easily trackable. On your social networks, measure by engagement. If people are having conversations on your pages about your product or service…”You Win”. On your television commercials, use exclusive vanity numbers. Any medium that you use can be measured in some way shape or form.
Lastly, once the customer gets to you, IT IS UP TO YOU! Marketing and Advertising does not close deals for you. This is why it is so important to take a look at your first step closely (pre-advertising). If your phone is ringing, people are having conversations about your brand, coupons are being redeemed and your recognition is rising, then you know your advertising is working. But to keep them coming back, you must OWN your responsibility of giving customers a remarkable experience.
So as you can see…It starts and ends with you!