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HOW TO: Succeed In Local Marketing Part 2

Principles For Local Marketing Success

For the First Part of This Article, Check Out: Succeed In Local Marketing Part 1

Principle 9 – Be enthusiastic

Marketing performed without enthusiasm shouldn’t be performed at all. If you aren’t excited about promotions, why should your prospects? If you’re a downer about your business, how do you think that makes your employees feel?

If you’ve lost your sense of enthusiasm for your business, remind yourself.

  • Make a list of the reasons why you started your business in the first place. Are you still in alignment with those reasons?
  • Get out and see happy customers using your products and services. Sometimes seeing the end result of your hard work is the perfect way to refresh your own batteries.
  • Get testimonials from your longest and most loyal customers. Some of them have been with you through quite a bit. Share that experience with them.

Task: Read over all of your current marketing materials and make sure they inspire your newfound enthusiasm. Read it out loud. Have someone else read it to you. Make enthusiastic changes.

Additional Reading: Be Enthusiastic: If You Don’t Care, Who Will?

Principle 10 – Use imagination

Most local marketing is booooring. Not only does it not work, it’s all the same. There’s a couple of reasons for this:

  1. Account executives from advertising agencies that sell advertising space sell space, not marketing. They have boilerplate ads and ask you to provide the same old information that fits their formula for best and quickest insertion.
  2. Business owners are afraid to do something different. They like things with a track record, even if they provide minimal benefits. It’s comfortable.

Don’t let yourself get used to that comfort zone between being offered a cookie-cutter solution because you see everyone else using the same cookie-cutter solution. Create your own solutions, or better yet, ask your customers what solutions you can provide, and then use your imagination to come up with ways to provide those solutions more efficiently.

Task: Research ten trends in local marketing you don’t currently know about. Information feeds imagination. By filling your mind with the new opportunities and tools at your disposal, you’ll begin to think of new ways to combine these things or even create your own.

Additional Reading: 5 Easy Ways To Get Your Creative Juices Going

Principle 11 – Learn from adversity

Adversity is nature’s way of teaching the lessons you need to learn in order to succeed. The majority of small business owners quit far too soon. Not to say there aren’t bad ideas, but even then, there are valuable lessons to be learned.

The key to local marketing success is finding the right mix of tools and messages. Without doubt, some of your marketing is going to fail. The key is finding the lessons in those failures and applying them to your next efforts.

Some things to look for in failure:

  • Was your message seen or heard by enough people to be effective? If not, can that number be amplified using the same tools or are other tools needed?
  • Were your sales conversions low, despite having plenty of traffic? Perhaps your products are hard to find or your checkout process is confusing.
  • Did you include a call to action telling people exactly what you want them to do? If not, they aren’t likely to do that thing.

Task: To get where you are, you’ve already overcome many obstacles. Write down three of these obstacles and think about how you felt before and after successfully overcoming each of these barriers. What new skills or lessons do you think you eventually learned? Do you think you would have learned those lessons otherwise?

Additional Reading: Finding Competitive Advantage In Adversity

Principle 12 – Budget your time and money

Successful marketing comes from a constant and dedicated process. It requires a consistent flow of input, the time to analyze that input and the resources to take action based on that analysis. There’s rarely, if ever, a one-off marketing tactic that leads to success.

So what can you do to better budget your marketing time and money?

Rely on technology.

  • Pay per click software like Google Adwords provides all the relevant data you need to improve your ads and click through rates
  • Use blogging software like Blogger and WordPress. They are free, and when used strategically, provides powerful search engine optimization benefits, as well as instant publishing capabilities
  • Customer relationship management software like Zoho helps you see how each of your customers reacts to your marketing and documents your contacts with them
  • Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter spread your message instantly and can be shared with others easily

All of these tools are free and do require some level of learning how best to use for your needs, but once you’ve customized them, will save you money and make your other marketing activities faster and easier.

Task: Write down the exact amount of money you are willing to dedicate to your marketing needs over a minimum of at least six months. Figure out how much you’ll be spending in each of those months and then detail exactly what you plan on doing with that money each month. Next, detail how much time each month you are willing to dedicate to following up and improving on your marketing. The more detailed you are, the more likely you are to reach your goals.

Additional Reading: Going Beyond Creating A Budget

Principle 13 – Have a positive attitude

Even when you learn that opportunity comes from adversity, it doesn’t keep you from having negative thoughts. But with most good things, they take time. When you start to buy into the negative thoughts, you cut down on your ability to see the new opportunities that are headed your way.

Now that you have your marketing plans in writing, know that you’ll make it as long as you keep at your plan. Along the way, there will be some bumps. There will also be some good things which you shouldn’t take so seriously either. Remember; keep your eyes on your overall goal.

When you start to have negative thoughts:

  • Reread the lists and goals you created in earlier principles and tell yourself you’re still on the right road
  • Remind yourself of all the good things that have happened with your marketing and focus on those items
  • Ask your business alliances things they’ve done in the past to get over negative thinking

Task: Carefully check your thoughts for complaining, fearing, doubting and criticizing. Eliminate these types of thoughts from your mind and use this time instead to think positively. Once you’ve regained your positivity, make new adjustments to your marketing plan and eliminate the frustrating activities.

Additional Reading: Injecting Poison In Your Brain

Principle 14 – Think Accurately

Thinking positively doesn’t mean ignoring warning signs and red flags. It means knowing life inevitably goes through ups and downs. But with the ability to think accurately, you can forecast these ups and downs and use them to your advantage.

Keep track of what’s worked and hasn’t worked with your marketing. Create a calendar of what you’ve done, when, the results and any other information you have been able to collect. You may begin to see patterns, for instance higher sales of certain products in specific months. The more data you can include in your calendar, the more accurately you’ll be able to predict the potential success of your future marketing.

In the meantime, here are some tools to help you see current trends as they are happening:

  • Google Trends capitalizes on Google’s vast amount of search data, which is logged and updated here daily. Marketers can use these trends to improve their sales writing or decide on which products and services to sell.
  • Trends on Twitter are also mined from an overwhelming amount of data and are updated in real time, meaning as an event happens, you can actually see the trend occurring on Twitter.
  • Yahoo Trends are pretty much the same as Google’s, but are mined from the searched of a much older demographic.

Depending on your target demographic, there are probably other trending tools out there with more relevant data. If you can think of a tool, it’s probably out there.

Task: Have you let the things that haven’t worked for you in the past keep you from using those same tools in different ways? Display ads may not have worked for your products, but they may work very well for a new service you’ve added to your business. Think of the marketing activities you’ve done that haven’t work and see if you can think of new ways you can apply them to your business.

Additional Reading: Clear Your Mind To Focus On What Matters

Principle 15 – Healthy fuel

Your marketing plan needs constant fuel, but the wrong fuel can literally kill your business in record time. Too many business owners think traditional advertising is the way to go and most of them have no idea how to even track that advertising to see if it actually makes them any money. Those ads could very well be losing money, dripping your marketing budget (and therefore your business itself) dry.

Even if your ads aren’t making you money, they could still become good fuel for your marketing but only if you try new things and stop following the crowd. If it still isn’t working, get rid of it and try one of the dozens of other non-traditional ways you can now use to market your business.

  • Have you ever thought of speaking to groups about topics you are an expert on? This type of marketing not only builds your credibility as an expert, it pumps up your confidence and inspires you to try even bolder marketing activities
  • Have you ever thought of writing about the topics you are an expert on? This type of marketing also builds your credibility, but it also has the built-in advantage allowing you to use the articles you create over and over in a number of ways
  • Have you ever thought of creating community events to promote the benefits of your products and services? This type of marketing helps people really remember your company and builds goodwill in your brand

Some marketing is not only good for your business, it’s good for you. Challenge yourself, try new things and even if your marketing doesn’t quite succeed the way you planned, you’ll see your confidence grow.

Task: Go over all of your marketing costs and verify that you know exactly how much money these tasks are making for you. If they are not making you money, decide whether or not the results are helping you reach your overall goals in some other ways, such as building traffic, blog readers or email addresses. If they are not, eliminate those tasks and use recommendations from your business alliances to find suitable replacements.

Additional Reading: How To Boost Your Confidence At Work

Principle 16 – Foster Cooperation

If your business has grown too large or you simply no longer have the time to maintain your company’s marketing, you may find yourself relying on someone else to take over this vital function. Whether you outsource your marketing or hire an employee, you must have their complete cooperation if you expect them to move in the direction of your overall goal.

To get the cooperation of employees:

  • Hire the right employees in the first place; enthusiasm leads to cooperation
  • Share your business vision with your employees; update or create your vision/mission statement
  • Implement performance bonuses; bonuses motivate employees and provide a mechanism for acknowledging dedicated performers
  • Give your employees a voice; the more someone has a say in something, the more they take ownership

When you have the full cooperation of your employees, you can trust that your marketing is consistent on all levels. Your marketing team will be congruent with your vision, leading to better marketing messages, and employees will provide better marketing through customer service and reinforcement of those messages.

Task: Develop new ways you can inspire better cooperation from your employees. Can you afford to build bonuses into their compensation plans? If you can turn your employees into advocates for your company and products or services, their free word of mouth marketing is far more valuable than most of the other marketing you do.

Additional Reading: 10 Ways To Build Rapport And Foster Cooperation

Principle 17 – Make these principles habit

It’s easy to change behavior for a little bit, but old habits die hard. Without repetition and dedication to these principles, they’ll soon be forgotten. You may think doing well on half of these principles is good enough, and to some extent, it might be…for now.

But the fact is someone, someday, probably very soon, is going to come along and do exactly what you’re doing, but do it just a little bit better. Instead of following half of these principles, they’ll be following 15 of them. And they’ll be harder to beat.

Unless you are highly specialized, what you offer is a commodity. It’s your job to change that in the buyer’s mind by adding as much value as possible to your offerings as you can, including providing:

  • Better and/or longer customer service than your competitors
  • Better and/or longer technical support than your competitors
  • Better and/or longer return policies than your competitors
  • Better and/or longer access to education and resources than your competitors

Most of these things don’t cost you anything, once they are in place, but to create the type of culture you want, you’ll need to be fully dedicated to your overall goal. Each new principle you put in place paves the road for the next, getting easier and easier to expand your marketing culture as a whole.

Task: Think of 8 goals you’d like your business to accomplish in the next 12 months. Create a marketing strategy for each and share them with your employees. Assign ownership of specific goals to your best employees and give them an opportunity to give you their all.

Additional Reading: Developing Productive Habits Requires Productive Action

There are nearly unlimited tools and tactics for you to use in your local marketing, but no matter which ones you choose, you’ll greatly increase your successes by following these principles. Practice one every couple of days and in just over a month, you’re guaranteed to see your company in a new light, start creating more compelling local marketing and get better and more productive cooperation from your employees.

Follow these principles and your local marketing will not fail.