Make Me Look Big

A recurring theme to meetings with new clients lately is, “We’ve been burned by other marketing companies. We’ve spent a lot of money and have gotten no results. I need you to work fast to make my company look big for a potential new customer AND start getting me new sales right away!” These are businesses in all industries – from lawyers to realtors to landscapers. They are signing contracts for one-size-fits-all “marketing packages” that make big promises but fail to deliver.

When you have wasted resources multiple times on failed marketing attempts and finally come to the realization that a real marketing plan involves strategy, research, expertise, customization and professional execution, you are getting on the right track to actually seeing a return on your marketing dollars. I recently asked a group of business professionals, “True or False: It costs money to hire a professional marketing company.” It sounds like a trick question, but the answer is “False”. A professional marketing company that takes your business as seriously as you do will actually MAKE you money.

It isn’t realistic to expect that a marketing company can make you #1 on Google within a month, and, in turn, your expectations for your return on investment need to match your budget. A $149.99 a month “marketing package” isn’t likely to return any significant amount of website visitors, leads, or customers. It is, on the other hand, going to drain your resources and cause disappointment when you realize that you were wasting money that could have been put to better use in your company.

While you do not have to spend $1 million a month to reach your target audience and get your message across effectively, a few key investments in your company’s marketing will go a long way.

Must have #1
Have a professionally designed logo. The importance of having a professional logo, or brand, that is unique to your company is significant because it sets the tone for the first impression your potential customers will have in doing business with you. A logo carries the weight of visually representing your brand and serves as the cornerstone of all your marketing & promotional materials.

Must have #2
Develop a high quality, professionally designed image or brand. This includes print collateral – business cards, brochures, etc., along with a great website. A great website is an absolute must-have in today’s environment. Your business’ website will educate potential customers by showcasing your services or products, should drive conversions for your business – whether a sale, lead or a download, and can foster engagement directly with your target audience like no other marketing channel.There are no “do-it-yourself” website building services or cheap business card websites that are not going to make you look like you take your business seriously. Once you have invested in the basics for your company, other pieces will start to come together in a more professional manner as well.

Must have #3
Develop a strategy. As marketing strategies go, the more information you have about your target market – what they want and how to anticipate their needs – the more successful and effective your results will be. It is always about reaching the right people with the right message at the right time. But again, if your campaigns are not executed professionally and in good taste, you can not expect a good response. Also, consistency and repetition is key. There are no “one month wonders” in marketing that are memorable and effective.
My father always taught me the principle of “do it right the first time” so that you won’t have to do it over and over, costing you more time and more money. Doing marketing right should be an investment, not an expense that keeps on draining your resources. A well executed, professional marketing strategy may cost more time and money up front but it will return on investment.

Grif Blackstone is the president of Blackstone Media Group, a full scale web design and marketing company and publisher of the Good News, the largest Christian newspaper in Florida. Grif has helped hundreds of businesses build an effective brand identity to help them communicate who they are to their target market. Writer, speaker, and consultant, Grif is known as the “Efficiency Guru” for technology and business and is a coffee fanatic. Contact him at: [email protected] or 954-323-6737

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