I thought I would try something new. I sent a question out into the web, encouraging businesses (online and offline) to share their favourite piece of marketing advice that they have been given, and I received an amazing response.
I know that marketing is a broad topic, so with today’s trend towards finding customers online, and original marketing concepts, I wondered what would be in the forefront of businesses minds.
Here is just a selection of some of the excellent responses I have received:
Elyse Daniels from JEM Promotional Products
The best piece of marketing advice I received was from Amanda Gome – Founder and Publisher, SmartCompany.com.au at a seminar. She said something along the lines that marketing means nothing without sales. You can have the best marketing in the world with lots of people visiting your website but unless you convert that lead into a sale or an enquiry your time and money were essentially wasted.
As a marketer for a SME this really helped me focus my marketing so that I was always thinking about how the marketing I was doing was going to achieve more sales.
Cheryl Stevens from Wahmbay Online Marketplace
The best piece of marketing advice I’ve ever received is: You are NOT your customer! Do not presume to know what your customer wants or needs without asking them!
Greg Ferrett from Exceptional Sales
The best advice I have ever received, and I give, is to measure the results of every marketing dollar. Sometimes it is hard to determine an acurate way to measure a return, however, if you have no measure in place, even if it is an indirect measure, there is no way to know if you are getting value.
Following this advice I have, as well as many of my clients, been able to get outstanding marketing results for very little cash investment.
Keith from Builders Crack
The best advice we had was to treat marketing as everything that touches the customer, rather than the messages that you explicity try to communicate. How you treat your suppliers, staff and customers every day has an impact on how your business is percieved in the long run.
Thinking like this, we have moved a greater share of resources from communication to customer service, which has had a big impact on the number of customer referrals we generate (the best kind of marketing!)
Annette Sym from Symply Too Good To Be True
I had some fabulous advice given to me by a media person once before I ever thought of being in my own business. He told me that if I wanted to attract media (for free publicity) that I would have to offer the media something unique, something different that no one has done before…
I listened to this and when I wrote my first low fat healthy cookbook (I have 6 now all best sellers) I created a life size statue of myself in my swimsuit weighing 100 kilos (220lbs). I hadn’t seen this before and now even 13 years on it is still very unique and has been with me for 13 years and still is loved by the media.
Joshua Mullins from Netboost
The best marketing advice I was given is to invest in trust. I had a business mentor who urged me to go out and establish myself with potential clients by doing free information and educational presentations about website marketing and to engage startups and charities with freebies.
This advice turned out to be gold. Sure it will cost a bit in the short term but the long term results bring in a steady stream of clients and really helped me engage with my target market and build my brands.
I would recommend this to any business owner, even if it is just providing helpful and relevant advice on forums or blogs.
Tania from Tania Usher International
The best advice…“Don’t be boring”
Actually not sure if I heard this advice or just adopted the motto. Either way, it’s the benchmark for ALL our marketing. In an over stimulated world where we are bombarded with over 3000 messages a day, we need to think creatively about getting seen.
Why is adopting this philosophy important for business? It gives clients an experience, it enables those involved with the business to be ‘real’, it provides entertainment, connects people together and most importantly forges the key component to a client’s buying decision, they Know us a little more, Like us a lot and Trust us with their purchase.
Craig Griffiths from Ask Find Buy
I would say to any and every business owner work on your personal brand in conjunction with your product brand. Give free advice that is related to your product. This will build your reputation as an expert in that field and customers are happier dealing with an expert. It reduces the effort need to establish trust with the customer. The customer is coming to you based on your reputation.
I’ve heard a lot of advice over the years, and I really love the advice shared by the above businesses. But if I was giving advice to businesses, here are 3 pieces I would give:
- Plan, Plan, Plan - Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. And this is not just for “business plans” but also “marketing plans”. Even if your plan is only 1 page, that single page is better than nothing.
- There is nothing FREE in this world – this is true with marketing, and especially ONLINE marketing. As a business you either need to give time or money – and usually you choose the one that you have available.
- Know your R.O.I. (Return on Investment) – When doing your marketing you need to be obsessed with numbers. Whether it’s online marketing spend or offline marketing spend, you need to know exactly how much you are getting back for your time and/or money invested. Having “friends” and “followers” is NICE, but if you are not making money, then you’re not in business.
So do you have a favourite piece of marketing advice given to you? When you took that advice did you get more customers or generate more sales? We’d love to hear about it. Feel free to comment below…