Marketing is Not a One-Time Event

small business marketing plan

Developing an integrated, ongoing marketing program is a challenge for companies of all sizes. Larger companies typically have a whole department or ad agency devoted to marketing, and smaller ones may just have a handful of staff loosely involved with marketing… or maybe, just the principal. No matter the staffing levels, the need for consistent marketing is the same.

Not just a one-time event, your marketing program is a must in order to create visibility, recognition, trust, and desire with potential customers and clients. It must be carefully, cogently, and continuously directed towards your target market. Every new conversation and inquiry could lead to a sales opportunity. Marketing well doesn’t guarantee that your sales department will close on every new opportunity, but without it you will certainly miss out on new business.

Here are three considerations when developing your integrated marketing program:

Integrate Sales and Accounts Managers to Help Close

Marketing is most effective when it involves not just the Marketing Department. An integrated marketing program requires work driven by multiple departments, most especially Sales and Client Services. Traditional and digital marketing initiatives are nothing without a well-conceived sales follow-up process, and a closed deal will not develop without effective client account management. You always want these departments to remain in conversation in order to get the best return for your company’s time and money.

Acknowledge All of the Marketing Options

With the growth of digital advertising, there are more marketing methods than ever to choose from however not all will be right for your business goals and resources. Choosing the right type of marketing for your product or service is one of the most important things you can do; ultimately you will save yourself time and money with the correct decision. If you don’t have in-house expert marketing, talk to a consultant to identify what kinds of activity best suits your budget, staff, and needs. There may be a few methods that work for you immediately but think big picture and consider methods with longevity.

Allow Adequate Time for the Program to “Work”

Successful marketing takes time and the payoff is not immediate. Some companies get antsy and “pull the plug” before the program can yield noticeable returns. Be patient and recognize that even when front-end results are positive it is the back-end results (sales!) that are the true measure of your marketing campaign’s success. Evaluate the quantitative results—each day, week, month, quarter, and over the long-term—and tweak your follow-up processes as required.

It’s worth stating again that you must carefully evaluate what works, and what doesn’t, every step of the way. Move slowly at the beginning and you are more certain to enjoy success.

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