When Your Small Biz Marketing Stops Working

Have you hit a brick wall? What I mean is, do you feel that your marketing and sales efforts are only reaching a certain point of effectiveness?

Small business sales and marketing is a tough business.  It becomes even tougher when you feel as though you are out there advertising, yet not moving beyond the invisible “brick wall” I just mentioned.

Entrepreneurs that face such obstacles usually respond by trying harder, adding a few more dollars to the ad budget or cramming their existing ads with more detail and glitter.

If this marketing impasse has been an ongoing issue for your small business, I’d like to suggest you step back and examine your overall strategy.  It very well may be that your methods, medium of choice, or message may be in need of an overhaul, rather than a fine tuning.

Review Your Medium

If your marketing is stalling out only after bringing in a small number of prospects, it may be that your medium of choice is ill-equipped to meet your business demands. An example of this would be sending out direct mailers to capture 10 new leads – only to see 5 new customers a month. In this example, you may be tempted to move to a heavier stock of paper or target new zip codes. You’ve got to be honest with yourself.  Are you staying with a particular medium because it’s what you’ve always done – is it what you’re most comfortable with? It’s likely time to shift to another medium such as radio, TV or online marketing.

Start a New Conversation

There are times when you cannot move beyond a certain point with your marketing due to the fact that you’ve been communicating with the wrong group. I once knew of a small business that insisted on communicating with the affluent prospects of their audience rather than middleclass folks – of whom accounted for 80% of their revenue. Their marketing was destined to max-out very quickly by virtue of going after such a tiny segment.

In the marketing world, there’s a huge difference between those you should be communicating with as compared to those you want to reach. Ideally, they should be one in the same, but not always. That is why you need to do a little research on who is likely to respond to your marketing efforts.  As a result, your messages are likely to travel much further.

Look at the Big Picture

As a small business, it is important to take a clear, sober look at what your business markets.  Are you promoting a product or service that is relevant, needed or desired?

As an example, during the height of all of the economic turmoil in our country, there was a sharp decline in the purchase of luxury goods. At that time, running a textbook-marketing-campaign wouldn’t have been enough to overcome the bigger picture.

If your marketing is always running out of gas, examine factors outside of your business.  Are their economic, technological, social, or legal changes encroaching on your efforts? If so, there may be a need to seek operational solutions rather that those found in communications.

Walter Dailey is a proven creative strategist. He’s the lead consultant and executive producer for Dailey Sound Vector, a creative services organization that specializes in jingles, radio ads and marketing campaign development for small and mid-sized businesses.  Walter is finally on Twitter. Follow him here: @wrdailey