Ask just about any entrepreneur what their #1 goal is for their business this year and the words “growth in sales” will come back by a landslide. We either increase sales or start seeking other employment. You already know how painful that would be, so the attractive alternative is to increase business sales.
Question is, how do you go about growing your company’s profitability when consumers are bracing for a potential double dip recession?
According to a study endorsed by the Better Business Bureau, businesses that aggressively market themselves in the midst of a bad economy have been shown to generate a 256% profit advantage over their counterparts who pull back on marketing due to the recession.
No matter what your marketing budget is right now, 256% of your company’s potential profit advantage is a lot to respectfully decline.
In order to grow, a company must be committed over the long haul to efficient, strategic and aggressive (notice I didn’t just say “creative”) marketing. It should start with a strong brand and a marketing plan and never shoot from the hip.
A good rule of thumb is to allot 10% of your total sales to marketing if you want to maintain your current sales levels. If you want to see sales increase, invest 15-20% of your total sales back into marketing.
But We Tried Marketing, and It Didn’t Really Work for Us
Marketing is like food. It converts campaigns into customers, and customers into sales like food breaks down into glucose and then into energy. Without marketing, your business will “shrivel up and blow away in the wind!”
It’s no secret that marketing and advertising can be expensive. Even social marketing opportunities are not free as they take valuable time and manpower to develop.
Many business owners pull back on marketing because they don’t see their efforts’ return on investments. If this is you, take heart.
The fix may be easier than you think
6 Marketing Tweaks to Turn the Sales Tide in Your Favor
Regardless of its form (print, web, multimedia or in-person), think of your marketing effort as a message in a bottle. If you’re losing money on marketing, there’s often one of six things occurring:
1. The bottle washed up on a shore where the people still barter with bones and shells,
(Choose a marketing platform that will end up in the front of the people who want what you have and also have the means to obtain it–if they’re mostly online, don’t bother creating a newspaper ad.)
2. It washed up on the right shore, but they couldn’t figure out what a “gobbpopular” is,
(Make sure that what you do/sell is obvious, and that the benefit they will get from buying it is even more obvious.)
3. The reader really liked your message, but was quickly approached by a saber tooth tiger, threw the bottle back in the ocean, and ran,
(Because we’re all so busy, it generally takes 7-10 exposures before people act on something new, even if they’re interested. One-hit-wonder marketing never works.)
4. The reader received 10 similar bottles offering the same thing that same day
(Your specific value to the customer over your competitors is still a little fuzzy. Time to clearly communicate the difference.)
5. The reader didn’t realize there was only one gobbpopular left or how to obtain it,
(Create a sense of urgency and tell them exactly what the next step is.)
6. The message talked about your product or service, not their need or dilemma.
(Every marketing message should be about the customer, not the company.)
Make these six marketing strategy adjustments to increase sales for your company, and then just watch. While everyone else is making ads, your company will be making money.