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3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

3 Reasons Why Your Marketing Strategy Sucks

Everyone is business knows that customers are the lifeblood of any business. In my opinion it is the most important thing that determines success more than anything else. If you can’t get new customers each month then you won’t build a successful business.

Simple.

The key to getting new customers each month lies in your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a solid marketing strategy outlined that details how you are going to get new customers each month then you are not going to build a successful business. You may already be in a position where you’re marketing but are not having the success you want from your efforts. This is an incredibly frustrating feeling.

However, you can create an effective marketing strategy easily and I will show you 3 key components for a marketing strategy that doesn’t suck and actually brings in more customers to your business.

Here we go.

No Differentiation

If you don’t actively differentiate your business then you will end up becoming a commodity in your marketplace. You need to find out what it is that separates your business from every other business in your marketplace. You need to give customers a REASON to pick you and then focus all of your branding around this differentiation.

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When you do this you avoid becoming a commodity. If you don’t actively make yourself different then people will have no reason to pick you and you will end up becoming a commodity, which leads to numerous problems in itself. The easiest way to answer this question of differentiation is to ask yourself.

“Why should a customer pick me over every other business.”

Essentially, this is your USP and it’s a statement that positions you in the marketplace by answering that question. In my own field I am in a very competitive market so I focus my copywriting services on how I help businesses get more leads and sales by writing personality filled words rather than boring, dry copy.

This is an example only.

There are plenty of ways you can focus on how your business is different and then nail down on it.

You Chase Customers Rather Than Have Them Come To You

This is a big one I struggled with when I first started my own business and I’m sure it’s when many other business owners can relate to. Chasing customers almost seems like the default method for getting new customers but it’s really the worst strategy you can use. It’s very time-consuming and in many cases it doesn’t reap any rewards or very little reward from all of your efforts and time spent.

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What really changed my approach was reading a book by Dan Kennedy called NO BS Sales Success. There was one chapter in it in particular that changed everything for me. He talks about positioning your business rather than prospecting so that customers come chasing you rather than the other way round. When you think about it, prospecting is such an archaic strategy for getting clients.

So instead of chasing customers what you should do is think about how you can actively position your business so that customers see you as the best option to help them solve their problems and then contact you.

There are a few key positioning strategies you can use:

  • Direct mail
  • Public speaking
  • Classified ads
  • Writing – guest posting or for print publications, magazines, newspaper columns, etc
  • Webinars
  • PPC ads
  • Publicity

There are many ways you can do this but these are some of the most common and effective.

Rather than focus your marketing on prospecting strategies, focus them on positioning strategies to get more customers and you’ll start seeing a greater reward for your efforts. A great by-product of this is that you end up being able to charge more money for your services and in many cases, the positioning you have done will mean that there will be very little price resistance.

When someone contacts you then they demonstrate commitment and compliance. These are both powerful psychological forces that shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Not Making The Most Of Your Time For Marketing

Once you actually create the marketing strategy you need to implement it and this is another area where people go wrong. Many business owners don’t think of themselves as business owners, they just want to do what it is they are exceptional at and that’s it. Not making marketing and advertising a PRIORITY is a seriously big mistake. One that will cost you big time in the long term. Bottom line, every single day you need to make time for marketing.

A little strategy I like to do is make the first 1-2 hours of my day solely for marketing activities before I do any client work. So it could be writing a guest post for an hour. It could be creating a Facebook PPC ad campaign. It could be carrying out some research for a direct mail campaign. Spending 30 minutes calling event organizers to see if you can speak at their event.

See what I mean?

If you don’t make the most of your time each day for marketing and make this area of your business a priority then you’ll never succeed in business. Marketing is the most important thing you need to be doing each day in your business. Each day you need to be actively doing something that aims to bring more customers to your business.

Make sure you track your marketing activities as well because then you can hold yourself accountable and also see what strategies are working more effectively than others.

Conclusion

Marketing is the most important aspect of running and building your own business in my opinion.

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Your marketing strategy is what will get customers coming to you and if your marketing strategy currently sucks then you need to look at the 3 tips above and implement them in your own marketing ASAP. Without it, you’ll never get the customers you need to make your business thrive and provide yourself with the kind of lifestyle you envisaged when you started your own business.

As a quick recap these are the three things you need to look at if your current marketing strategy sucks:

1. Lack of differentiation

2. Not attracting customers

3. Not making marketing each day a priority

I hope that these three things I have mentioned will help you improve your overall marketing strategy.

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

More Resources About Achieving Business Success

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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