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Marketing – one size doesn’t fit all

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

One of the reasons for the failure of my business was my inability to adapt. I’d spent so long learning and understanding the marketing strategies and principles for large organisations, but I quickly found out adopting corporate style marketing to small business simply didn’t work.

Marketing is not a one sizes fits all discipline.

The marketing strategies taught on business and marketing courses throughout the World are by and large non-transferable to the realm of smaller business. You can take and adapt the best practices from the largest organisation, but marketing a small business, especially of the ‘one man band’ variety demands a different approach to marketing.

There are three risks for small businesses who attempt to follow the marketing textbooks too closely:

  1. It doesn’t work.
  2. It wastes time.
  3. It wastes money

In the current economic climate most small businesses cannot afford the luxury of spending heavily on marketing activity. There is of course an argument for them to be doing precisely that. If most of their competitors are cutting back, they stand to gain considerable share of voice if they have the courage and finances to follow through on this. However for many businesses this approach is risky and simply not viable. Now is the time for frugal and savvy marketing tactics.

Ultimately though in my experience many small businesses fail because they simply have no idea of how to effectively market and sell their products and services. They may be the best plumber in the world, but if they can’t communicate that fact effectively they are destined for relative obscurity and in many cases financial ruin.

My own business failed because I insisted on applying the marketing techniques I learned in the corporate world. Small businesses must find the right blend of sales and marketing techniques to survive and thrive. They need to experiment, expect failure along the way and learn as they go. Above all though, small businesses need to invest time and energy in learning new marketing techniques and developing the critical sales skills they need to grow.

Categories: Sales and Marketing