Whether your business is new, expanding or has been around for years, I believe there are some tell-tale signs that business owners and managers cannot ignore when it comes to their marketing strategy. Below is my top 5 list based on my own experiences and conversations with business owners over the years.
Remember! Marketing, smart marketing, can be your company’s engine of growth if you know how to approach and measure it.
5) New/Increasing Competition
There are certain external factors every business owner knows they have to closely monitor in order to be successful. The business climate and economy. Regulations affecting the space in which they do business. Innovations and new technology within their industry. And, of course, the competition.
Whether it’s a brand new competitor that just arrived on the scene or an existing competitor that recently launched a new product/service or jazzy new marketing campaign of their own, (smart/creative) marketing can sustain the blow your competition will throw at your business. Hone in on what makes your business different. Dust off that old value proposition and re-examine it. Refresh your marketing collateral (or create some strong marketing collateral). Develop a content marketing strategy. Whatever your new marketing plan entails to fend off the competition, be creative and be aggressive!
4) Current Status Quo/Campaign is Not Producing Desired Results
Here’s a scenario I come across quite frequently in speaking to business owners and operators. Their company is doing well. Not bad but not great either. They haven’t been really doing anything different from a marketing perspective over the last few months to a year… content with the status quo. But their current strategy is not driving the needle.
There is a time for every business owner or marketer to pull the plug on a weak, ineffective campaign. I believe any campaign should be monitored weekly (if not daily) and re-examined closely every quarter to see if significant changes need to be made. Now, you have to give a marketing campaign some time to “dig its feet into the turf and take off.” However, if after 6-8 months there is no real progress on the metrics you set prior to the campaign, then it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and rethink your strategy.
3) Its Been Years Since You Refreshed Your Brand
Bread is not the only thing that can go stale. Your brand, business and image can absolutely go stale if neglected. And nobody really wants to do business with a musty, worn-out business. Not today with all the competition and choices available to your clients and prospects.
It can be a host of things… your logo, your Website, your packaging, your marketing collateral, your presence at events, your advertising, your emails, your message. And the list goes on and on. All these things, very important components of your business, can go stale. Perhaps your business does not need a complete makeover. But your business and everything that makes your business, must be kept fresh, compelling, interesting and vibrant. Especially in today’s world!
2) Lack of Brand Identity
Your company could be brand new or it could be several years old. Doesn’t matter. If your business, small or large, lacks a brand identity it will only go so far then plateau out. This is true whether you are the only company in your space (pure monopoly), one of a few companies in your space (oligopoly) or one of many sellers in your space (monopolistic). Your sales will max out, far below where they could be, at a certain level if your company lacks an identity. Stay tuned for my piece on what brand identity is and how to create and maintain one, but your brand identity can be communicated through your logo, the quality of your marketing pieces, your value proposition, your customer service skills, and more. What’s your company’s brand identity?
1) Decreasing/Flat Sales
And the number one sign you may need to rethink your business’ marketing strategy is, has to be, decreasing or flat sales figures. It’s what every other reason is really tied into… sales, aka: the bottom line. If your company’ sales have flat-lined, then you either need to start marketing or adjust your current marketing efforts. I firmly believe marketing can truly be a company’s engine of growth… as much as any other factor in a small business or large organization.
Many people still automatically think ads (print or online) or traditional advertising when they hear “marketing efforts”. Better yet, even more people still think “expensive” when they hear “marketing efforts.” These are fallacies. Smart, creative and compelling marketing does not have to include ads or have to be expensive.
These are my top 5 signs you need to rethink your marketing strategy. Not the top 5 signs. I would love to hear your thoughts! I invite you to post a question or comment below.