If You Don’t Invest The Time, Who Will?
Last week we hosted sixty businesses and non-profit leaders in an off-site marketing Bootcamp. These leaders chose to invest a full day of uninterrupted time to their marketing and brand messages for 2020. They are the outliers – the ones who decided to work ON their business instead of getting wrapped up IN them. The fact that they left their to-do lists behind for a day to clarify how they’re talking to their customers is a big deal. Here’s why…
SmallBusinessTrends.com recently shared a report by OutboundEngine that shows 60% of small businesses invest less than five hours each week on their marketing. Only five percent of companies spend 15-20 hours a week on their marketing, and just four percent are investing more than twenty hours. For the majority of these organizations, marketing is an afterthought or a “we’ll get to it after everything else” item. Without someone within the business dedicated to marketing, it’s just not getting done.
The report by OutboundEngine went on to share some other significant data. 50% of their respondents did not have a marketing plan in place for 2019. 86% preferred to spend their time investing in business activities outside marketing. Of the businesses investing the least time on their marketing, 36% were unsure how they would grow their business in the coming year.
We keep using the word “investing” – time spent on your marketing is an investment in your organization. Most of us agree that marketing is a critical part of our businesses. Without it, how will anyone know we exist or understand what we have to offer? So if that’s the case, what’s preventing us from getting focused and intentional about our marketing? Here are a few of the common barriers we’re all facing everyday…
“I don’t have the time to work on our marketing.”
Most business and non-profit leaders are already stretched thin, and they wear an abundance of hats. They’re constantly battling the tyranny of the urgent. They live life like firefighters, continually putting out the latest blazes and hot spots in their business. Customer service, product development, sales, employee engagement, and getting projects done all take priority. Who has time for marketing?
“I’m overwhelmed by all the options – which ones are most effective?”
It used to be a simple matter of choosing between newspaper ads, radio, yellow pages, and possibly TV. Today, that landscape has transformed dramatically. From our websites to digital advertising, SEO, and social media, marketing now provides us with endless options. Should we be blogging, posting on Instagram, or spending money on Google ads? Is print still something we should be embracing? Knowing where to get started can be daunting, and it’s easy to become paralyzed.
“Marketing is too expensive, and I can’t measure my ROI.”
We hit on this earlier – marketing is either an expense or an investment depending on the lens you choose to view it through. Where you land generally depends on whether you see a return on your spending. For many businesses and organizations, their past marketing spend has “landed on deaf ears,” or it’s been hard to define and measure success. Without solid lead generation or data to show increased traffic and conversions, focusing more time and energy on marketing can feel like a waste of time and resources.
“I don’t have a firm grasp on who my customers or clients are or how to talk to them.”
The businesses who joined us last week spent half of their day at Bootcamp focused on their customers and the forces that drive their decision-making. They learned to connect their customer’s needs and wants to the products or services they offer and to focus on their customer first. The other half of their day was spent diving into what differentiates them in their space and makes them magnetic to those customers. Without solid knowledge of who your customers are, what drives their buying habits and decision-making, and the qualities that make your brand unique, effective marketing is almost impossible.
These are just a few of the challenges preventing businesses from focusing on their marketing. If this list sounds familiar, the statistics tell the story – you’re not alone. The harsh reality is this… Sometimes less is more, but this doesn’t apply to your marketing.
It’s 2020. Invest a little more time into your marketing, just like all the sixty that joined us at Bootcamp last week. Set the time aside on your calendar, make a plan, and devote some energy to your blog, email marketing, or social media. Invest some time on your website focusing on your message and how it’s connecting with your audience. Dig a little deeper into the driving forces that your customers and audience are using to make their decisions. Need help creating a plan, and then making it a reality? We’d love to hear from you.
Whatever you do, don’t do nothing or settle for the status quo.
Curious about the tools we shared with last week’s Bootcamp participants? The Brand Bounce Bootcamp experience is available as a digital course, complete with a downloadable training guide and 17 coaching videos that guide you step-by-step through the process. If you missed the event or know it’s time to focus more on your marketing, this is the perfect place to start. Learn more here. (PS – We have a great deal running for the month of January!)