Where does improving your advertising, sales and marketing results rank on your company’s “bucket list” items? If having a marketing focus is not one of your top priorities, then you’re putting the business at risk!
“I don’t have the money to invest in marketing right now.”
The first words I often hear from business owners when things get tough are “I don’t have the money to invest in marketing the business right now.” My standard response when I hear this has become … “Well, should we be talking about an exit strategy then?” The bottom-line, if you don’t have a marketing focus, are not investing in advertising, sales and marketing to grow the business, then in all likelihood your business will not be successful.
In Sales 101 … you learn to “change the ground rules” when you are in a loss position.
The same holds true for the business as a whole. Jack Welch was a master at creating disruptive change when he was Chairman and CEO of General Electric. Mr. Welch and his leadership team constantly sought ways to improve the operational performance of GE’s varied business units. GE has often made major organizational changes when business performance was at a peak, in order to stay relevant and produce record sales and profits each year.
LGI Homes in Houston is another great example of how successful growth companies creatively market their businesses. LGI Homes is one of the few home builders in the U.S. that has grown its sales and revenues every year for more than a decade, despite the economy’s fluctuations. When the home building industry took a nose dive in 2007, LGI’s management team maintained its marketing focus and charted a new direction for the company. They doubled their marketing budget in order to stay ahead of the competition. The end result … record home sales, despite the worst economy in decades.
Is your business struggling to make a turnaround? These six ideas will help you get things headed in the right direction.
1. Host a Brainstorming Session
Get your team together with some outside “experts” to come up with creative ideas and action plans to help address the gaps and accelerate business growth.
2. Revisit Your Books
Take a look back at your past successes and failures. Find a way to build on what has worked in the past, and try to limit any missteps going forward.
3. Out With the Old
Toss out those activities, advertising campaigns, promotions, etc. that are broken or have exceeded their “shelf life.” Keep your marketing focus, and target your time, energy and resources on the new programs and initiatives to improve bottom-line results.
4. Experiment on All Fronts
It’s time to change up your headlines, refresh your ads, collaterals, web site and marketing messages. Raise your business profile and connect with prospective buyers and customers in expansive ways.
5. Prioritize Marketing for 90 Days
Make a marketing focus your top priority for the next 90 days. See what changes occur with response rates and new sales volumes. Hint: this should also help you get off to a fast start in the New Year ahead.
6. Measure and Track Results
Then shift resources and budget into areas that deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI).
The next time you consider cutting your advertising, sales and marketing budget when things get tough, stop yourself and do the opposite. Put more emphasis (and dollars) into marketing the business, and make it a top priority. This will help to reinvigorate your team, get a jump on the competition, and keep the business on the right track to future prosperity and growth.
Have you tried any of the ideas listed above to refocus your business? Which appear to have the biggest bang for the buck? Let’s discuss.