“What is the bare minimum I need to be doing to market my business?” I recently had someone reach out and ask me this very question. As a small business owner, I understood the underlying weight and exhaustion in the message…as a marketer, I wanted to cry.The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a great opportunity to share some insight on marketing. So here’s why this question bothered me, and how you can avoid making mistakes rooted in it!
1: It’s Impossible
Marketing is a complex issue, even if you don’t factor industry and demographic into the mix.
I know, you’re thinking “but Steph, everyone says that Impossible is just a misspelling of I’m Possible.” And you’re right, it’s a great attitude to have. But in marketing it’s important to recognize when something is just not possible and move on. In this case, getting marketing advice when the person you’re speaking to knows nothing about your industry or business is just setting yourself up for failure!
I couldn’t answer that question because I didn’t have a good answer. I didn’t know this person’s target market, I didn’t even know their industry, so any advice I would give would be practically useless.
It would actually probably harm his business if I answered that question…
2: It Doesn’t Work
Marketing is fast becoming one of the most crucial aspects of your business.
Having a “bare minimum” marketing strategy is not going to work long-term because of the importance of marketing. I understand, there’s a lot going on in small businesses! But a bare minimum marketing strategy needs to be a short-term deal, otherwise it spirals the business.
In other words…
Bare minimum marketing produces bare minimum results. A business with bare minimum marketing results ends up with bare minimum results period, and it turns into a spiral of bare minimum everything until the company collapses on itself.
If this is currently you, don’t lose hope!
There IS a way out of that spiral.
1: Plan It Out
Take a step back and build out a detailed marketing plan. Put all your current marketing on hold and determine what your business truly, ideally, needs in marketing. Create a cohesive plan where all the parts of your marketing work together to draw your customer in, and you’re not just trying to get linear results with your marketing (marketing truly should produce exponential results, learn more about it here!)
2: Timeline It
If you don’t have time or capacity to do it all right now, start with a small plan that works together but additionally look at your calendar and set a timeline/deadline for when you’re going to stop doing the bare minimum. Without a deadline for the “bare minimum” effort, you’ll continue to spiral and not actually implement anything you’ve been learning or working on.
Above all, don’t despair!
The spiral is not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of your business yet. You’ve still got a long way to go before your business collapses in on itself, but starting to combat it today will get you off the ground faster.