I DON’T MARKET MY BUSINESS!
I DON’T MARKET MY BUSINESS!
I hear this phrase when I speak to some companies, “I don’t market my business, and we are doing really well.”
Cue my bemused smile…Awesome, you are doing well, I’m pleased, but sorry, you said that you don’t market your business? You have never done any marketing? Hmm.
So, how do you get most of your business? “Recommendation, word of mouth; we don’t need marketing.”
Well, I am sorry to tell you this, but you have been marketing and doing very well from it, which is great.
A lot of people misinterpret what marketing actually is. Marketing is much more than a pretty logo. Marketing requires you to be a lot of things – analytical, creative and with an awareness of what makes people tick.
What the hell is marketing?
Marketing is addressing the needs and wants of a customer – that is the essence of it.
What do they need, what do they want and how can you tell them in a way that they want to be communicated to? How do you reach them in a way that triggers a reaction and makes you stand out amongst all the “marketing noise”? Do you come across as professional? Helpful? Knowledgeable? Passionate?
The way you come across is Marketing – any thoughts, feelings, interactions had with your company.
Simply put, you (or your M.D.) started a business because you saw an avenue to supply what people needed/wanted in a way that could make money. Any way that you communicate, whether that is to customers, suppliers, shareholders or even potential customers is marketing.
It’s EVERYONE’S Responsibility
Every person in the business markets that business. Whoever answers the phone, sends a customer a reminder email, chases money. You are marketing.
Imagine if you answered the phone or an email in a rude way to an existing customer.
How would they react? Do you think they won’t tell their partner that they received a rude email? Will that make them want to keep being your customer?
Everything you say or do where your customers can interact with you can impact on your reputation.
Can’t say anything nice? Don’t say anything at all!
Perhaps an extreme example but I’m pretty sure you remember the day that Brexit was announced?
I do. I have a professional Facebook profile where I am only connected to people that I have generally met out networking – I popped on there that morning.
One of the people (who I used to see every week at a networking event) was being pretty horrific about those who voted a certain way.
Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, he is connected to quite a few other business owners (myself included) and uses it to promote his business. He doesn’t know how his Facebook friends have voted. Regardless of any which way someone has voted, what he was saying wasn’t very nice, and nobody deserves that.
I swore to myself that I would not pass a single piece of business his way based on those remarks. Why? He was just expressing his opinion, right?!
Sure, he was but what if someone I referred to him didn’t share his political views, how would he react? What if they just simply had a different opinion to him? He certainly wasn’t shy about vocalising his opinion and shutting people down who expressed a different view. I’m not putting my customers/colleagues through that.
He was representing his company whether he realised it or not. He doesn’t know that I have made that decision. How many others have made the same?
As soon as I saw that, I sent off an email to my customer base warning them to keep quiet on social media where they are connected to other business owners for fear that they would fall into the same trap.
The number of responses I got was phenomenal. Everyone was as horrified as I with the general comments and posts on Facebook and agreed to steer clear.
The moral of the story is this:
- If you are in business and still going strong – you are marketing, even if you aren’t using “modern marketing.”
- Marketing is much more than a pretty logo; it requires you to be analytical and creative to attract your audience.
- Marketing is all about the needs and wants of a customer – talk to them in a way they wanted to be talked to communicate how you can help them.
- Don’t get political and rude on public platforms where your business is linked and your (potential) customer base can see it.
If you’d like to debate this point or just want a little advice, please do give me a call on 01604 434170.