You arrive at a networking event focused on business development, marketing, and sales—a great opportunity to grow your business. You enter with specific goals in mind: develop positive relationships with both new and existing colleagues and friends in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
You make your way through the room chatting with different types of business representatives, some familiar and some new. A fellow attendee introduces themselves to you and proceeds to hand you a business card that says marketing.
“What do you do,” you ask.
They respond, “I manage inbound marketing campaigns.”
You move on and meet other individuals at the event; one person builds websites, another person writes content, another delivers customized, corporate promotional items, someone else is a graphic designer, and another prints and mails marketing campaigns to current and potential customers. All these people are professionals in the marketing industry, and all say their services are a necessary part of your marketing strategy, but who provides the best marketing solution for your business?
As a marketing professional, I respect what we bring to the table. However, figuring out what marketing services will work best for the company can feel like herding a bunch of cats. There are many marketing techniques business owners can use to promote their organization; yet, to find the best marketing method, you must first develop a marketing strategy–the business development tool tailored to the specific goals and objectives of your unique business.
There is no one right answer. Like the construction industry, there is not one contractor with the solution to every construction project. Each business has specialized services, manages various project sizes, and has experience and skill on select project types. Each business delivers value to their client dependent upon the project. That is the first question to ask in developing your marketing strategy. Start by asking, “Whom do I want to reach?”
Once you determine the who, you must know what you want to say to them. You can now begin to identify what type of marketing professional to engage. Be clear with your expectations by asking several questions. Request a written plan to include a timeline with goals and cost.
Start with the end in mind. Put in place strategies that fit your marketing budget (financial and personnel). Develop a plan, put strategy to the dollars you are spending. How are you measuring the return on your investment of money, time, and human resource? Seek out a professional that knows your business development goals, understands your industry, appreciates your budget, and engages in a strategic plan that delivers the stated outcome.
Trust me; most marketing professionals want nothing more than to drive real profitable business right to your doorstep. It is the best of all worlds when that happens; we have happy, profitable clients and our business grow as well.
Let’s get this done!
Shara, VP Sales and Marketing