Growing a business takes planning. A comprehensive marketing strategy is essential not only to a new enterprise, but to take an established business to the next level. In a recent Zoom interview with marketing coach Danny Decker, we discussed how business owners can implement marketing strategies in a way that is both cost-effective and successful.
Danny was a partner in a well-known marketing firm, Spotlight Branding, before beginning his new venture in 2019. His company, Marketing Simplified, focuses on educating clients about marketing. The average business owner, he says, does not understand how to use marketing to grow their businesses. This often leads to bad experiences: choosing the wrong marketing agency, for example, can sour a business owner to the whole process, and lead to the incorrect conclusion that marketing is a waste of time and money.
The first step, according to Danny, is identifying who the right clients are for your business and then making sure that your messaging and your product is solving the right problem for those clients. “So many businesses,” he says “want to talk about themselves – how great I am, how great my business is. Good marketing is talking about how you are going to make your customers’ lives better…what are the problems that are keeping your customers up at night.’’
Once your target clients and the message you want to communicate to them have been identified, the next step is determining the best way to get that message across. That may mean updating your website, advertising on social media, or maybe even learning how to use networking opportunities to your advantage.
The best marketing strategy will be ineffective unless you know how to execute that strategy. Part of Danny’s job is finding ways to execute their marketing strategies. “Often, what I do with my clients is to connect them with the right vendors: marketing service providers who will actually do a good job with their website or their Google ads or their Facebook ads.” Danny sees his job as a marketing coach as an objective third party between business owners and marketing services providers; ensuring that the right vendors are chosen, and making sure they are accountable.
Often, business owners can both gain new business and improve profitability without spending any money at all. A common pitfall, especially for small business owners, is undervaluing their services. Danny cites the example of a client who was charging a fee of $50 for services that were actually worth much more. He advised the client to raise the fee to $500 for the same service. Instead of losing business, as the client had feared, business remained steady, but at a higher rate, greatly increasing profitability. Raising prices is much easier than finding new customers, as long as the new prices reflect the actual value of the product or service provided.
Danny’s final piece of advice for business owners learning about marketing is that marketing is not just buying ads – every business owner needs to learn how to make marketing work for them. For some, it may mean raising their prices; for others, it may mean learning how to use networking opportunities, overhauling their website, or learning how to use social media.
Danny and other successful marketers all have a similar message to business owners: Marketing works. Don’t give up after a bad experience. Find the right person to work with, come up with a strategy that fits your unique circumstances, and then learn the best way to implement that strategy.