A misconception among many businesses is that you should only invest in marketing when your business isn’t doing well. When in fact, a marketing plan should be in place before you open your doors. If you wait until your business is in hard times before you think about investing in marketing, you may have reached a point of no return. The goal of marketing is not only to generate short-term financial returns but to build long-term brand and shareholder value. A promotional flyer is not going to pull a company up from a decline.
The excitement of a new business can only get you so far.
In the beginning, businesses are all about putting the effort and dollars into setting up shop. Creating a new business has an excitement and a momentum that attracts the first stream of customers and gets early services or products out the door. Often early marketing plans consist of the owner making one-on-one calls, pushing out information to social media networks, and talking the business up among friends. These techniques are useful for initial awareness, but won’t increase brand equity, build brand identity, or generate long-term value.
Strategy is not a solo sport, even if you’re the CEO.
If you wait too long to get help with marketing, that customer stream may dry up to a trickle and your business could begin to struggle. Not to get too dramatic here, but if you’re at a point where you’re envisioning your business failing in six months to a year unless something changes drastically, then it’s probably too late to put a marketing plan in place that can save you.
Marketing needs to be at the head table.
A well-researched and well thought out marketing plan helps a business define and establish a successful product or service, create a viable audience, and increase market share over time. The research and development of that initial plan take time – often six months or more – and the plan becomes a dynamic document that will change over time as customer needs, trends, technology, and media change.
For these reasons, marketing needs to be part of your initial business plan (or part of your restructuring). Whether you choose to bring an expert in-house, or contain employee costs and hire an agency, marketing needs to be factored into the equation at the C-level.
Take a tip from the pros.
Emerging businesses can take a lesson from established companies. If you’re starting a business with long-term potential, engage a marketing agency to lay the groundwork for you. Having a marketing plan in place will help you ride the ups and downs that every business goes through, and it can help ensure that you still end up on top.
Interested in creating a marketing plan for your business? Give us a call, we can tailor the scope of your plan to be the most impactful for your business while being achievable within your timeline and budget.