Guerilla Marketing 101: Marketing is Whatever Works
Let’s face it. It’s tough out there right now. We all have to work harder to just keep pace with the volume of jobs, projects and revenues we have been used to achieving. Marketing is vitally important; you must be able to clearly articulate your unique value proposition and generate demand for your services. You need to understand what it is that sets you apart from the competition, what your specialty or expertise is, and then turn that into a message that will help win you business and more importantly, repeat business and referrals.
“But I don’t have any budget for marketing…” is something I’ve heard throughout my entire career, and as a matter of fact, some of the most effective marketing campaigns that I have executed have had a surprisingly low or (more often than not) no budget. But before we get to that, let’s go over some basics.
Simply put, marketing is the RIGHT message going to the RIGHT people at the RIGHT time. It is your job as a business owner or marketer to determine who your “right” people are—as in, define your potential customer and determine your “right” message and time.
First and foremost, you need a plan. I’m not talking about a 50-page, leather-bound, impress-the-CEO opus either. The most important thing is that marketing gets people to want your products and services. It’s not enough just to have a name or logo on the side of a truck or an ad in the yellow pages—don’t get me wrong, you need those to let people know you exist, but effective marketing is what informs your potential customers of the VALUE that you bring to the table and starts to generate demand for YOUR products and services.
For larger companies, the marketing plan might be split between pure branding and awareness (such as traditional advertising) but for most of us, our dollars are limited and we need to make sure that whatever we do GENERATES LEADS for the salespeople to go after. The basic marketing plan needs to include Who (Who am I targeting?), What (What will I use to get my message out?), How (How will I reach them?), and When (Timing of the campaign). And we will need to measure to see what works.