Business is going well. Products are selling. Pipeline is full. Revenue is increasing. Small businesses work hard to get to this level of success and many do. When business is going well, it is easy to forget about marketing because you shift internal responsibilities to nurture new and existing clients, convert the pipeline, and build better products. This is good, but when a small business starts decreasing the priority on marketing to accommodate for the surge in new business, it is setting itself up for a drought.
How Does This Happen?
It is actually quite easy. When you become so busy with new clients and sales, you start taking little shortcuts in the areas that help grow the business. In marketing, we often see the deliverables like marketing emails, blogs, and social media posts get delayed and eventually they stop. We see business development meetings get rescheduled or cancelled. This does not happen overnight. It begins small, here and there, to the point that marketing becomes an afterthought.
After a while that pipeline starts to look a little empty and the drought makes its way into the business. Executives and sales managers begin to panic and start chasing anything and everything. They can no longer be choosers and must go after the “low hanging fruit” to keep the cash flow going.
Once a business enters a drought, it can be difficult to flourish again. Here are 4 tips to keep your business flourishing and prevent a drought.
- Marketing must ALWAYS be a priority
Marketing is like exercising. You have been consistently working out and it shows. You have energy. You are healthy. Somewhere along the line, life gets busy with kids, work, and extra activities. You begin to miss a workout here and there and next thing you know, you have lost all that you worked towards. Marketing, like exercise, must be a priority. You need to lead your organization in the mindset that shortcuts with marketing today will affect your business tomorrow. It might be tempting to shave off 30 minutes of your business development meeting or push back a marketing email to spend a few more minutes on a project, but, if you do, it will show in one way or another. Keep marketing a priority and you will keep filling your pipeline with quality leads.
- Take time to analyze
Data is like a mentor. Individuals spend time with their mentors to help them mature as a person and grow in character, career, or skill. Spending time with the data you collect gives you insight into your customers’ behaviors. It helps you know when to adjust your marketing and content. When you stop analyzing your data while continuing to write content, your content may begin to be irrelevant to your customers because their behaviors and buying habits have changed. Do not underestimate the power of your data. It helps you keep your content relevant.
- Listen to your customers and share the feedback with your team
Your customers want to give you feedback both positive and negative. When business is good, we think our customers are happy. Most likely they are, but it is a grave assumption to think you are meeting all expectations. Take time to schedule personal visits or phone calls with your customer with the sole purpose of asking for feedback, especially when business is good. Do not try to make excuses if the feedback is negative or try to upsell if feedback is positive. Just listen and most importantly take the feedback back to your marketing team and use it to strengthen your marketing efforts. If you do not share your feedback with your team, it is a waste of time for you and your customer.
Following these tips will help prevent your business from going into a drought. It is our desire to see businesses succeed. If you do not have a marketing strategy to help curate content that drives inbound lead generation, we would love to talk to you. Contact us for a free consultation.