Small businesses that cut marketing from their budgets or never included a budget item for marketing are doing so at their own peril.
Those small businesses that eliminate marketing often reason that it’s an easier cut that eliminating employees. While having to let go of employees is never easy, eliminating marketing instead can put employees’ jobs in greater jeopardy as the company continues to struggle.
Marketing isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Effective marketing is what ensures new leads enter the sales funnel. The competitive environment brought on by today’s economy makes it nearly impossible to fill the sales funnel without marketing. The mid 2000s, when people flush with money found their way into businesses and easily spent money, have given way to days where buyers are more careful and conscious of their decision to buy. They research more and pursue more options before buying.
Businesses that customize their marketing plans to meet the needs of this new audience perform better. Marketing is the means to attract these buyers.
Another problem is that many small business owners fail to properly implement marketing plans. Bad plans, those lacking objectives and results that can be tracked, don’t really qualify as marketing.
A proper marketing plan must consider and be customized to accomplish a business’ objectives and goals. It must take into account the company’s ideal clients, the marketplace and marketing from prior efforts.
Marketing takes work and money, but the returns for implementing a good marketing plan can far, far exceed the costs.
The small business owners that recognize this reality are the ones who increase their sales, even in these tough times. The ones that don’t give their business away to those who do invest in marketing.