As a Business Coach, I get asked a lot of questions about the obvious… business. Questions about business development, leadership, business planning, hiring processes… and just the other day, a question to do with marketing.
“What’s the best marketing advice you’ve ever received?”
Ah. Great question. My mind immediately started scanning the virtual files in my brain… all the books I’ve read, all the courses and workshops I’ve attended and facilitated, all the businesses and clients I’ve spoken with and coached… and within a few seconds, I had my answers. Here they are, working backwards from 5 down to 1.
Five. Marketing does not get you clients.
Advice from Michael Port; a professional speaker and New York Times best-selling author of Book Yourself Solid (I recommend the illustrated version) and the Heroic Public Speaking program.
Marketing does not get you clients. Marketing creates awareness. - .@MichaelPort Click To Tweet
Think about it. Regardless of which strategy you’re leveraging to market your products and services, marking only creates awareness. It’s you that gets the client. At the very least, it still takes a human being – you – to write the copy and close the sale.
Four. It’s not about the strategy, it’s about the routine around it.
Advice from one of my closest friends, Greg Forzani, of Forzani Business Coaching. If the last name, Forzani, doesn’t sound familiar, Greg cut his business-teeth by working for his father, Joe Forzani, and his late uncle, John Forzani. The two brothers (along with brother Tom and best friend Bas Bark) founded FGL Sports Ltd (FGL) and went on to build Canada’s largest sporting goods retailer – Sport Chek being one of the most accomplished successes. FGL ended up selling to Canadian Tire for a whopping $771 million dollars in May 2009.
After more than 25 years working for FGL, Greg came away with incredible experience and knowledge in a number of areas, one being marketing. If you asked Greg, what’s the best strategy, he’d tell you, “It’s not about the strategy, it’s 100% about the routine around the strategy.”
It’s all about the routine… what are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you doing it? When are you doing it? What did you learn? What will you do differently? What are you measuring?
Think of it this way. Let’s assume you want to lose weight. You join the gym, work out a couple times that first month. You don’t lose any weight. The gym doesn’t work, you say, so you buy a treadmill. You run on the treadmill a couple times a month. You don’t lose any weight. The treadmill doesn’t work, you say! So you buy a new mountain bike…
Do you see where this is going? A couple of workouts a month? Clearly, you won’t be losing any weight anytime soon.
But… if you develop a routine around just one of those weight loss strategies – the gym, treadmill or bike – and you start to manage your diet… You capture some relevant data, go two or three times a week, and routinely manage your food, things start to change. You routinely measure your progress. You tweak your diet. Tweak your program… and so on. Now you’re starting to shed even more weight. Make sense?
It’s not about the strategy, it’s about the routine around the strategy. - .@GregForzani Click To Tweet
Three. Marketing is an investment, not an expense.
Advice from Brad Sugars; best-selling author as well as the founder and CEO of ActionCOACH, one of the world’s largest and most successful business coaching franchises, and the organisation where I received my first business coaching certification.
True, marketing is categorised as an expense item on your income statement (aka: Profit and Loss). From a mindset and attitude perspective, however, marketing must be valued as an investment. The best investments give you a return on your investment.
Brad Sugars breaks marketing down into two simple truths. One – a Measurable Expense, the other, an Investment Expense.
A Measurable Marketing Expense means this. The net profit on the first sale pays for the cost of the strategy.
An Investment Marketing Expense means this. The net profit of a specific number of transactions, over a defined period of time, pays for the cost of the strategy.
An example of a Measurable Marketing Strategy: You sell a product/service for $100 dollars, which has a net profit of 20% ($20 dollars). You decide to spend $10 on a Facebook advertising campaign and you sell five of your products. When the net profit of the first sale – in this case, $20 – pays for the strategy – in this case, $10 – you have yourself a Measurable Marketing strategy.
Five sales earned you $100 in net profit, less your $10 expense. You’re up $500 in revenues with $90 in profit! There’s no question that you should run that Facebook add again. Get at it. Do more of it. Run that advert all day long! It’s a winner!
An example of an Investment Marketing Strategy: You sell a product/service for $5,000 with a net profit of 20% ($1,000). You decide to enter a two-day trade show – cost of your booth is $1,500. Hotel, meals and travel expenses come out to another $1,500. You’re all in for $3,000.
Clearly, the profit from the first sale won’t cover your investment. You’ll need to sell a minimum of three widgets just to break even. Sell less, and you’ll have to think twice and review the relevant data before you decide to re-invest in the next trade show.
If you sell five widgets at the trade show and eleven more sales come in during the next quarter (specific, self-imposed, period of time)… well then, the trade show was a good investment, definitely worthy of investing in it again.
See the difference?
Which leads me to my next point…
Two. Don’t get mad, get data.
Advice from Bryan Hatch at Infusionsoft, a sales and marketing software company built for small businesses and based just outside of Phoenix, AZ. We use it, we love it… we’re Infusionites. Just saying.
If you’re struggling and frustrated with the results of your online and email marketing efforts… don’t get mad, get data. You should be tracking all of the relevant data with each and every marketing strategy that you implement and execute. If you’re not doing this, how will you ever know it’s working? What to change? What to stop? What to Start? And so on… Relevant data will help you in making better marketing decisions.
“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” – Karl Pearson
Don’t get mad, get data. - .@BryanHatch Click To Tweet
One. Start with why.
Advice from Simon Sinek, the New York Times best-selling author of “Start With Why” and “Leaders Eat Last”. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.
If you’re looking to build a following of loyal customers, telling them what you do and how you do it doesn’t actually drive human behaviour. But if you tell them why you do what you do – the reason, the purpose, the cause – those who believe what you believe will become your loyal following.
The biological science behind Simon’s work fundamentally changed the way I did business and it is by far the very best piece of marketing advice I have ever received.
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. - .@SimonSinek Click To Tweet
I used to say, I’m a business coach. I sell one-on-one individual coaching programs. I have a multitude of coaching resources, tools, systems and strategies. Buy my services.
Super inspiring, isn’t it. Not.
What I say now; I believe a business is a vehicle to enable you to live life on your terms. I believe you started your business for a reason, to make a difference in the lives of others and the community around you. The way I help my clients live life on their terms is by giving them simple to use tools and strategies, to give them clarity in purpose and the confidence to execute. I just happen to be a business coach, a workshop facilitator and speaker.
See the difference?
Those are some the best pieces of marketing advice I have ever received.