Winning at Business With Your Marketing Game Plan
By: Charlie Cook
Stuart from Colorado had talked to a number of marketing firms and
gotten estimates for designing and printing his marketing materials and
building a web site for his business producing promotional cds. One firm
quoted $100,000 to build his web site alone. He sensed something was
missing or wrong, but couldn't put his finger on it, so he called me.
I asked Stuart how the various marketing pieces and activities were going
to work together to help him generate leads. I asked him what his marketing
strategy was. He drew a blank. The marketing firms he had talked to had
provided detailed information on what they were going to produce for him,
but none had discussed a coordinated plan to generate leads and sales.
Marketing without an integrated strategy is like playing poker, tennis or
football without knowing the rules, keeping score or having a game plan.
You could put in a lot of time, energy, and capital, and still end up
losing the game. Has this happened to you?
W.inning at business is the same as any other game, whether your objective
is to beat the competition or just to be the best in your industry. To be
successful, you need to know the rules of the game, have a clear strategy
and track your progress.
The Rules for Winning at Marketing and Sales
Here are some of the most essential rules to follow to succeed at marketing
1. Written goals are motivating and can help you succeed.
Define your objectives for revenue, lead generation and conversion rates
for the year and then break those down for each quarter. Commit them to
writing. Next list the weekly and daily tasks you and/or your employees
need to accomplish in order to reach your goals.
2. The more qualified prospects you can attract, the more clients you'll
have. A clearly defined lead generation strategy will bring in the new
prospects you need to be profitable.
3. It's easier to convert prospects to clients when they are looking to
solve a problem. It's much harder to convert people who don't have a
current need or concern, even if they are members of your target market.
Instead of seeking prospects, prompt prospects to look for you.
4. You'll get a better response from marketing messages that are focused on
client problems and concerns, not on your credentials or descriptions of
products and processes. If you're not getting the response you'd like from
your mailings, ads or web site, take a second look at your marketing
message. A few changes in your marketing copy can increase response by
factors of ten or more.
5. Integrate your tactics and message across your marketing materials,
ads, and web site to prompt people to seek you out and contact you. Trying
to generate leads without an integrated strategy is like playing football
without a set of plays for the quarterback to use with the team. He'd end
up throwing the ball only to find the receiver had gone the other direction
or go for a field goal on the first down.
6. The purpose of having a web site is to generate leads.
Once you have a lead you can use it to generate sales. Once you get
prospects to your web site or reading your marketing materials, make sure
you prompt them to contact you.
7. Most sales are the result of a relationship based on your credibility
and the value of your products or services. Developing these relationships
can take weeks or months to build. Your marketing strategy should
facilitate this process of building relationships over time, with multiple
opportunities for contacting prospects.
8. The easiest people to sell to are past customers. Prompt first time
clients to buy from you again and again.
In order to know if your marketing is working you need ways of keeping
score. Which marketing results are you tracking?
Which additional ones should you define each month and quarter to track?
Keep track of these important 'scores' to evaluate your
1. How many prospects seek your firm out each month? Is this number growing
each month by five to ten percent?
2. What percentage of people who are exposed to your ads, your web site and
other marketing materials give you their contact information so you can
stay in touch with them?
3. How many people are on your house list of qualified prospects? How fast
is this list growing each month?
4. How many people buy from you each week? What is the dollar volume of
5. How many sales come from repeat customers?
Whether we're talking poker, tennis, or marketing your small business, the
objective is to improve your performance and succeed more often. When you
have a game plan, know the rules and track your scores, you can continually
find ways to improve your marketing and be more successful.
2005 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals and small business owners attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up for the FrŽe Marketing Plan eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at http://www.marketingforsuccess.com