In a self-serving attempt for a client-attracting, keyword loaded post I started thinking about low cost, high margin ideas for small businesses. Then it hit me: smart management starts with getting what matters right first before you tackle a major marketing push.
Product. If you’re not selling iPhones then think about what your product can and can’t do and where it really sits in the competitve marketplace. Hell even if you are the iPhone, it’s not enough. Apple has always make improvements and shows no signs of stopping.
Service. Are customer and clients always coming back? Or do you routinely underwhelm? Are you clear in what you really offer, how you differentiate? If you sell service instead of a product, make sure it’s worth it. When you’ve done a big promotion like a Groupon deal, make sure everyone from manufacturing to customer service is prepared to meet the increased demand.
Price. Yes you can learn a lot of lessons from Apple, but in case you haven’t gotten the memo: you ain’t Apple. It’s a buyer’s market and your customers are able to call and click their ways to better deals with your competitors in a blink of an eye.
Promotion. One of the biggest fails of a media campaign is fixing the wrapping, not the present. That’s what went wrong with the Gap logo fail. Rebranding will change perception of brand not the stuff, so it’s still just lipstick on a pig.
People. Small businesses can find inspiration from big companies like Walt Disney World. Disney train their castmembers well and does a lot of research to get to know their customers, so that they can excel at creating those experiences that will make them loyal guests, for generations.
Support. Does it suck? Do brilliant cartoonists mock you, do customers villify you on Twitter? If you have not connected the dots, now is the time. Make sure folks in R&D, in customer service and in sales know the problems, offer solutions, etc. Admitting you suck won’t always get you ahead, you will have to actually make improvements.
Place. If no one finds you, it won’t matter if you run the best auto shop in town or have the best virtual temp agency on the web. Location, location, page rank, location.
Maybe it’s time to find some new marketing P’s. Maybe you need to find ways to adapt them to something new, like Danny Brown’s PITS. Once the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed on your P’s of Marketing Checklist, then you can think about your marketing and how to integrate social media.
But all the marketing won’t save you if your stuff sucks, shitty Michael Bay movies a Hollywood exception. How do you know if you’re market ready? Please share.
Photo credit: I gave a few Despair calendars as gifts this year, everyone loved them.