Friday, April 10, 2009

The Small Business Marketing Mistake

I’m the first to admit that you should not price your services to on the WalMart level. Doing so puts you in a mode of competing with other businesses on price. I’m willing to bet that your quality and service is a lot better (or you should want it to be) than your competition.

There's a dry cleaner that has a sign on the wall above the register. Here’s what it says:

1. Quality

2. Service

3. Price

"Pick Two"

It's true, you can't have all three in your business and I don't think you should either.

Keep this formula in mind:

Intention + Mechanism = Results

Let’s view this as a simple math problem. First, determine the results (the phone rings or someone visits your website, etc.). Second, determine your intentions. What do you want to say to your target market? The very last part of marketing is then determining the best mechanism to reach your market.

Contrast that example with what most business owners do...

As a business owner we tend to first focus on the mechanism. We buy an ad somewhere and then we figure out what it's going to say. We sit back and wait to see what results come from it. This is so backwards!

Honestly, think back to your last advertising mistake. I’m willing to bet that someone sold you an ad (mechanism) in the yellow pages, radio, newspaper, magazine, etc. They got you really excited and then asked what you wanted to say (the intention). All you really knew you wanted out of the deal was a few customers, but the results are the last part of your planning process. It’s like throwing a balloon with a marketing message on it into the wind and hoping it lands in your prospects backyard. It won’t happen and that’s why your last marketing venture failed.

Stick with the above formula and you’ll have no more wasted marketing dollars.

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