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Marketing leads survey as top 2010 New Year's business resolutions
It does not matter how good your products and services are if nobody wants it or knows about them. The first part of the equation, needs or wants, is discovered through market research. The second part, letting people know about business offerings, is tied solely to marketing. When surveyed about 2010 New Year's resolutions by Max Impact, the most common response was, "Effective Marketing".
Many businesses depend solely on word-of-mouth advertising. This free form of advertising often results in prospects more apt to close a sale. However, it is not typically a way to fill a sales funnel to appropriate levels.
Manikandan Balasubramanian of Dolcera, a fast-growing patent and market research services company, wants to build word-of-mouth advertising. They will have their "customers speak for us and with us -- at conferences, in the press, on our website and within their own companies."
However Comedian, Actor, Voiceover Talent, and self-proclaimed Computer Genius, Dan Nainan, says he will be "a lot more proactive." He acknowledges, "most of my work comes to me through word-of-mouth and because of my YouTube videos." Being more proactive means Nainan will devote a few hours each week to prospecting.
One of the most common ways of marketing small entrepreneurial businesses is networking. Many using this form become disappointed because they do not make the time to follow-up. Gail Mayhugh of GMJ Interiors sees this as a problem with networking.
She resolves to "get over the fear of asking for referrals and business." This is a great resolution to follow after networking events, completed assignments, or even when visiting family or friends.
Networking works for Amanda Vega of Amanda Vega Consulting. She says everyone in her organization will "do one networking and one community development item per week".
Ebony Sparks, an Advanced Certified Lash Stylist and Cosmetologist at Etsetera Lash Studio in Houston, Texas, will market her business through networking with non-profits. By building "strong relationships with charitable foundations who's missions are to aid women and families to live a better life."
High quality exposure
Entrepreneurs receive high-quality exposure (HQE) through a variety of means. The common HQE denominator is showing yourself as an expert.
Peter Geisheker, CEO of The Geisheker Group Marketing Firm, will spend more of his 2010 time "generating publicity for my company by providing expert marketing quotes to the media for business websites, blogs, magazines, newspapers, etc." He has quantified his resolution, which is an important step, setting a goal of 50 magazines and/or newspapers interviews.
Mary Robinson of Realtor Advance Realty will market by holding "a first time buyers seminar every month." These are important seminars as she spreads the word about the $8000 tax credit extension.
Building your marketing IQ
Joyce Wilde, M.S. of Wilde Services is being more fundamental about her marketing. She wants to "learn more about marketing and sales". After all, she admits, "My degrees are in psychology, not business".
Wilde is not alone. At Picture Perfect Events, Kelley Lee Gin says she "realized early on in my career that the marketing plan that is in place for a specific year may not work for the following year." Therefore, she will be reviewing and updating her marketing plan.
Yet knowing how to market will only be successful if a well developed plan is executed.
Ellen Delap, CPO of Professional-Organizer.com is resolving to "commit to my marketing calendar. I have a list of 6 different marketing outlets, including print, speaking, social networking, and collaboration, that are ways to market my business each month. This year I am committed to making these happen by the 15th of the previous month. I have an accountability partner who is doing the same!"
Successful marketing can put you in front of prospects which, when bolstered by great sales and negotiation skills, will help a business to establish itself as a leader in the product or service category.
Dee Merey, President and Founder of D M Public Relations, sees an additional purpose to marketing. She wants her marketing to find "interesting clients who deliver on their promises so that we can over-deliver on ours."
As Merey suggests, effective marketing is not just about finding prospects, it is about finding the right prospects to make business even more enjoyable.