In the wild, it pays to blend in with your background: if you are a prey animal doing so prevents you from being killed and eaten; if you are a hunter, it helps you stalk and catch your prey. However, in the jungle of business it the last thing you want is to blend in with your surroundings, be a “me too” business.
Only a few percent of businesses are doing well or excelling. The rest are getting by or struggling. Yet most business owners look at what their competitors are doing and imitate that. This means that most business owners are aspiring to be no better than “getting by”. What they should be doing is finding out who are the business owners that are doing well or excelling and imitating them.
Entrepreneurs who want to build successful businesses need to make their marketing efforts stand out from the rest:
- their website needs to encourage visitors to take the required action, whether that be buying a product or leaving their contact details (yes I know that mine is rubbish at the moment, but is was designed for a different purpose);
- their advertising, both net based and traditional, needs to scream at people to respond;
- their snail mail needs to grab the interest enough to stop it being binned without opening, and then the content needs to excite the receiver enough to read on and follow through;
- e-mail campaigns need to ensure that: a) they are not treated as junk mail; b) the e-mail is opened; and c) that the targeted person takes the right action.
- they need to use a multi-pillar marketing campaign, not just rely on one strand of marketing.
Oh yes, I mentioned the word “targeted” above. It is important that all of your marketing is targeted: it is no use trying to sell lawn mowers to residents in a block of high rise flats – you won’t get many sales. You need to identify your market and target your marketing to them. You then need to make them an irresistible offer and encourage them to take you up on it.
So, is your marketing counting, or are you just one of the herd?