Marketing Your Blood, Sweat And Tears

If you own a business you know there is no easy way.  By now you have learned that it only happens by your donation of blood, sweat and tears.  You need to own that, take pride in it!   You get to do what you love every single day and answer to your own determined call of duty.  IT SUCKS RIGHT?  I hope not, but if it does you may want to look elsewhere for employment.  One thing I can say is that money solves most of the problems in business.  If you are generating cash at a steady pace you typically can by time to work through the hard stuff.  This is where you have to strategize a plan and commit your resources.  Shhhhh, listen closely,… you need to invest in cash.  Yep, thats my big secret.  Invest in cash!  Understand that for every dollar you bring in you need to reinvest a certain percentage of that back into buying cash.  The best way to buy cash is to build a marketing strategy to make the phones ring.  It’s pretty simple when you thing about it.  Just know that 5% of your revenue goal should be spent on marketing.  This percentage will decrease as you hit certain revenue levels.  For examample,  a roofing contractor needs to spend about 5%( or 75k) to hit 1.5M in sales.  That marketing percentage budget will decrease at 5M to about 4%.  What a smart business owner will eventually learn is that once a proven marketing strategy model is in place he/she will work to make sure they spend the entire marketing budget.  If your going to have a surplus in your budget it should never come from the marketing budget.  This would just mean that you left money on the table.  Make your cuts on unneeded luxuries.  Just ask yourself one simple question before every purchase.  How will this purchase make me more money?  If you don’t like the answer, don’t spend.  

A Layered Approach

You need to understand some simple rules.  Getting your product into the hands of others is vital to your companies success.  I believe in a layered approach to marketing.  No matter the size of your company or it’s budget there should be a marketing strategy.    Start by finding the top 10 “obtainable” marketing campaigns.  Prioritize your budget based on historical data for ROI.  If you don’t have historical data, do an equal spend until you have 6 months of data.  Don’t ever just put all of your money into your best producer.  As your strategy gains more data and budget allows expand upwards of 40-50 marketing campaigns.  You should also be tracking your results and analyzing them.

Find your 10 Marketing Campaigns

Start small by creating 10 marketing campaigns that are both within budget and manageable based on your resources.  Its important to start small.  Don’t come out of the gate thinking that you need to do TV commercials.  Social media is effective and can be affordable if you learn how to create ads on your own.  The most important thing is to record your results.  Once you have enough historical data you will be able to adjust and tweak your marketing spend.  The more data the better decisions you can make.

Don’t Cherry Pick The Champions

Of course you want to put your money where you are getting the best results but this should be done as a percentage.  Once you realize where you get the best result I suggest adjusting your spend based on return.  I recommend that you don’t completely abandon your lesser producing campaigns.  You should be analyzing in terms of days/weeks/months/years.  Some campaigns will get you 20 leads/mo but those leads may all happen in the last 3 days of the month.  Other campaigns may only get you 10 leads/mo but they come in regularly every third day.  You want to have an even spread of leads coming in at all times.  Adjust your campaigns until you find a nice even flow.  This will allow your sales manager to forecast and manage the sales team better.

Brand Awareness Campaigns

You may find that there are some marketing efforts that show no direct conversions to leads.  This doesn’t always mean that the campaign is wasted money.  I ran a billboard ad in a small town for two years with no direct call-ins from the ad.  I pulled the ad down and 1 week later that small town got crushed by a hail storm.  Man, I thought boy, I wish I would have never pulled that billboard down.  Well I came into the office the next morning and we had over 75 leads from that small town.  Every single person that called in said they knew us from our billboard.  I had melted our company name into their brains so deep they didn’t even