Welcome to Centennial Way Marketing. Much like Centennial Way in Arizona went through a drastic face-lift; your company’s brand has the potential to as well. Advertising isn’t enough. Getting the old fashioned ‘word of mouth’ isn’t enough. Read through our material for a one of a kind marketing plan that will boost your sales and give your company its proper face-lift.
Centennial Way AZ: Before and After
Centennial Way in Mesa Arizona looked a little shabby not too long ago, right? Here are 2 examples:
And here is what it looked like after its urban renewal:
You can renew your company’s image in much the same way!
For more information about what all went into this project, check out this page.
If you are experiencing a loss in revenues due to ‘unknown’ factors, or maybe haven’t ever got steam in the first place, this marketing plan will give your approach a face-lift just like the one shown above!
Marketing Action Plan Step 1: Write down your current financials.
You may be selling a product or a service, or something new and exciting that I haven’t thought of yet, but the fact of the matter is, it’s tough to move forward if you don’t know where you’re at. Just imagine the last time that you were lost. Even if you have a map, it doesn’t do ANY good if you don’t know where you are at.
A great way to take a snapshot of the effectiveness of your marketing is to just look at your numbers. Figure out what your gross sales are, what your expenses are, and your profit after expenses. Don’t stress out over them, but know them. If your business is losing money, don’t just bury your head in the sand. A lot of guys do that when we’re lost. We say we aren’t in fact lost and we are taking the scenic route. This is a big no-no in business. In order to have a business you have to make money. If you aren’t, that’s okay for now, as long as you make a change. A great resource for figuring out your financials in marketing is the marketing company, Veritas Inc in Atlanta, GA. I know the guy that runs the place and he’s extremely helpful. He’ll probably even give you some FREE advice. Check out Veritas Inc marketing at Veritas Inc Atlanta. You can thank me later. Heck, you might even get some great information by just following their tweets @Veritas_Inc twitter.com/Veritas_Inc.
Marketing Action Plan Step 2: Figure out what’s working.
After really figuring out where you’re at financially, it’s time to look at what you are doing for marketing. As we all know, marketing is selling. Without marketing, you get no sales. That’s right, zip, zero, zilch. Write down all of the ways that you are attempting to get new customers.
After you have written down all of your existing marketing methods, track your results. Go back through your customer’s history and figure out where they are coming from. If you haven’t been doing this up until now, that’s ok. It’s a little shocking, but it’s okay. Just start doing it right now. Do it for a month and then come back and read this Centennial Way Marketing Plan then.
Ok, you’re either back after a month or you have already figured out where your customers are coming from. Now it’s time to make a tough decision…
Marketing Action Plan Step 3: Plan your destination.
The old saying, ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any old road will take you there’ is definitely true in business. So, let’s say that I’ve got my car all fueled up and ready to go. I’ve got a back seat full of snacks and water bottles, and I also have a spare tire in the trunk. I hop in my car and am ready to go to, say, Florida for the winter. I’ve never been there, but I hear that its sunny.
Am I actually going to get to Florida? Maybe, but I’m going to have to ask several people for directions along the way. After I get there, am I going to like it? Maybe, I only know that it’s sunny…but just maybe I won’t like the humidity!
I originally heard this analogy from Tom Peck of Blitz Inc. He heads up the operation in Bellevue, WA and trains a ton of people in sales and marketing methods. If you’re in the Seattle / Bellevue area, check out his marketing firm at their Blitz marketing blog.
So, the fact remains that if you have no idea where you want to take your business, or are unfamiliar with the type of business you will be running in the next five to ten years, you will always be fighting a losing battle.
Maybe you already have some pretty good clear-cut goals. That’s great! You’re one step ahead of most marketers. If you don’t though, figure out what kind of profits you want to see down the road, what services you want to extend into, what additional locations your business will be operating out of, etc. More importantly, what type of life you want your business to have.
This will only be accomplished through getting good at marketing and sales. Again, if your marketing sucks, your business sucks. Why? You don’t have enough customers.
Marketing Action Plan Step 4: Ditch the hitchhikers
If you truly want your business to succeed, you have to get rid of any dead weight. If someone isn’t adding value in your company’s marketing department, they should be replaced with someone that will. It’s too bad that some of the nicest people out there aren’t really that hard of workers. Unfortunately, that’s their choice. What I’m saying is, don’t just keep people in your marketing department that aren’t pulling their weight because they are nice people. If you want to help them, let them find another position at another company that they can be successful in because they aren’t being successful in yours. Or, if they have other talents, shift them to a different position.
I’m all for charity, in fact, I give several thousands of dollars every year to notable causes. These people are in unfortunate situations and cannot really help themselves. This is a lot different than paying someone a paycheck just to fill up a seat in my company. When it comes to business, you should be all about your business. They don’t call it walking your business, they call it RUNNING your business.
In terms of your marketing channels, you should have already figured out where your customers are coming from and where they aren’t. If not, do that now.
If some of your marketing channels aren’t bringing you any notable customers, ditch them. That’s right, just get rid of them. Start from scratch. Keep what is bringing you customers, but get rid of anything that is not. In other words, don’t focus on just getting your name out there. So many times I hear, “It’s good for brand recognition” when it’s actually costing the company more than its bringing in. What you save by getting rid of these under-performing marketing efforts will be worth it.
Marketing Action Plan Step 5: Capitalize on Your Leading Performers
In order to overtake the competition, rule the world, or just start to gain a profit at the end of the year, you need to figure out what is working and totally exploit it. Furthermore, figure out who your top performers in your marketing department are, and bonus the heck out of them. Give them incentives for continued high performance. If you’ve been in the sales industry for long, you know that there’s nothing more that top performers want than recognition…and bonuses! So, give them some commissions on future business and you’ll see even greater results from their efforts.
The leading sales and marketing company in Portland follows this rule and has brought great results to their Fortune 500 client in the process. DMA Portland (I’m not sure what it means) is all over the internet with employees raving about their bonus structure. Go see what they are doing at the LinkedIn profile of DMA Portland www.linkedin.com/company/dma-portland and copy it for your best performers.
In terms of your marketing efforts, put some of the money that you saved by ditching the under-performing ones into the ones that are working. WARNING: Be aware of the law of diminishing returns. Chart exactly how much more you are gaining in revenues per dollar spent. This should be done on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
This chart will flatten out at some point, but you want to stop feeding it right before it does. Once you stop funneling money into the areas with the highest ROI (Return on Investment), your business will be much healthier and ready to kick some serious tail.
Marketing Action Plan Step 6: Broaden Your Reach.
Improve your go-to-market strategies with casting a larger net. You should have some extra revenue being brought in by capitalizing on your now steroid-injected marketing channels. Now, it’s time to branch out.
Figure out what your competition is doing and be in the same space. However, brand yourself differently than them. If they are appealing to the masses, you should make your product or service appealing to the elite…and vice versa. There are many ways to get customers. You should try a little bit of everything when expanding your marketing ‘net.’ Don’t go overboard; just go little-by-little. When you see a high performing marketing opportunity, capitalize on it, dump a bunch of money into it, and all that’s left to do is rinse and repeat.
Be sure to come back often to Centennial Way Marketing for the latest and greatest marketing tips that will launch your business to new heights.