Marketing In Tough Times – Prioritize & Innovate

Your Marketing Source by Ron Burgess 12/5/12

Marketing In Tough Times – Prioritize & Innovate

Part 1 of 8

Ron Burgess, Marketing AdviceAs we approach the new year, I thought we’d have a different format for our “Annual Client Letter” this time around. I have written a client only, Marketing Trends New Year’s letter for over a decade that has always been well received.  While a printed version may still happen, concerns about the economy hangs over most small businesses and organizations, and I am compelled to act earlier this year in a digital newsletter with shorter tips on moving your business forward in these times.

This column will focus on why companies are successful in growing over the last few years. Unfortunately this does not include all of you. But the good news is that most of you could do something positive if you would do so.

RedFusion has become the leading Inland Empire marketing agency by building over 500 websites, keeping our marketing relationships on average 87 months, and considering ourselves partners with our clients. It has become evident to us, that we also have had a front row seat to small business success and failure during the last decade or so. We want this to be used to your advantage and are going to spread this knowledge around.

Where do you start? Priorities! Priorities!

Peter Drucker (one of the top business minds of the last century), says, “a business exists to get customers and innovate. Everything else is just a cost.”

Wow! Really? So that would mean the most important reason to exist is to get customers. The reason to innovate is to keep them and create new business.

marketing priorityYes, you might want to stop and think about the last two sentences for a minute. What have you done in the last couple of years to innovate?

OK – now that were are past that, most of you will need to rethink your priorities. Why? Because the NUMBER 1 complaint we hear from businesses is, “we are too busy.” Too busy to focus on priorities, too busy to market, too busy to create a story about what they do, and being too busy means that none of their innovation ever gets started.

Budget is of course important, but most of you have not budgeted for marketing so naturally it’s a problem. We’ll take up budget in another post. Today’s message is: find time!

I like the example from Stephen Covey.  

Important things are baseball sized stones, less so are small rocks, and trivial things are sand. The task is to fit as many things in the glass jar as possible. If you put the sand or the rocks in first, the larger stones will not fit. But since the important things must be done, putting the stones in first is required, then carefully working on rocks and then pouring the sand around the stones and rocks, allows all to fit.

Drucker says marketing (getting customers, and innovation) is the ONLY reason to exist  (the stones). All the rest are just costs (these are small rocks and sand), but somehow all the minutia is always in the way of growing your business.

Action Items:

  1. Resolve to re-prioritize what is important and what is “just cost.”

Start Thinking About

  1. Budgets & Cash Flow
  2. Innovation – What have you done to innovate this year. (We have lots of digital marketing ideas for that in coming emails)

Optional Reading:

  1. First Things First, Stephen Covey. Check out his urgent/important table.
  2. Two Ways to Win in Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Marketing In Tough Times

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