From time to time I’m called in by businesses that have, to be honest, left it just about too late for “Marketing” to help turn their fortunes around.
They have spent considerable time, effort, energy and resources trying one thing after another… employing more sales staff, getting rid of sales staff, appointing a new sales manager, reducing prices, setting up a new whizz-bang website and other desperate measures in attempts to boost flagging sales, with little or no effect. So their answer then seems to be: When all else has failed, let’s try Marketing.
So they cast around for a marketing provider to fix their declining or static sales at a stroke.
This is the point in the conversation when I feel the need to point out that Marketing is not the magic wand they’re looking for that’ll bring the sales enquiries that have been absent so far. Marketing, I explain, is slower acting but is designed to turn sales-chasing into order-taking.
When they show me their company’s recent sales and marketing performance (or lack of!) and ask for a solution, I am reminded of the old joke about the tourist who gets lost while driving round Ireland. He spots a local and stops to ask directions back to Dublin. “Ah, sur,” says the local. “If I was going to Dublin I wouldn’t be starting from here”.
In other words, the best time to review your marketing needs is before your business gets “lost”.
*PS. The best time to review your sales and marketing is NOW!
NEXT TIME: 10 benefits of encouraging Customer Loyalty