One of the biggest marketing delusions most of us service business owners have suffered from is believing that we can market once in a while, and get all the clients our business needs. Rather than putting together a strategic marketing plan and marketing regularly, we only market when we have no work to do. We market in “fits and starts”, marketing furiously when business is slow, and ignoring marketing altogether when we are busy delivering services. Because of this lack of marketing planning and consistency, our business is prone to peaks and valleys of new business and revenue. There is no well-thought-out plan of cohesive activities, designed to keep our business name in front of our target market
That, however, is not the only “price” your business will pay when you only market occasionally and randomly. There are other costs to this approach.
1. Sporadic marketing does not provide the feeling of familiarity that your prospects need to decide to buy from you.
If you fail to put together a marketing plan, and don’t market consistently, your target market never develops any feelings of familiarity with your business. Most prospects are somewhat cautious about investing in services because of fear of “fly by night” type businesses. They want to know that a business is stable, has been around, and will be around. One of the best ways for you to establish that reputation is by having a consistent and effective marketing plan, consistently executed. Familiarity breeds the willingness to consider you a potential provider of services.
2. Occasional marketing won’t develop your brand recognition with your target market.
If you only market occasionally, you will not set up the situation where your target market recognizes your brand. Brand recognition is a big factor in providing the feeling of safety and comfort your prospects need to consider becoming your client. If prospects do not recognize your brand, they will choose your competitor who has a more recognizable brand (even if their services are not as effective as yours). The human animal has some degree of “hard wiring” about wanting to make a safe choice. To make the most of this fact, you must market consistently, and develop that brand recognition for your business.
3. Without a marketing plan, consistently executed, your marketing does not develop momentum, or start to produce results.
Recognize that familiarity and brand recognition are big factors in the decision process when a prospect considers buying your services. To take full advantage of these facts, you must put together a marketing plan that develops momentum, and predictably delivers new clients. Most owners of service businesses fail to recognize that they must continue to market, even after they are getting results. They believe that the results will continue without the marketing. No, the marketing drives those results, and you must consider marketing to be an activity as necessary and frequent as brushing your teeth.
4. Unless you market regularly, you will not distinguish your business from your competitors.
It’s easy to imagine that we’re so good at what we do, that it should be obvious to our target market and that they should flock to us. If only it were so! The truth is that you must market regularly or your market will not be able to distinguish your business from that of your competitors. The ones who market the most are likely to be the ones who get the biggest share of the market. Of course, it is not just marketing alone that makes this true. It is also the effectiveness of the marketing as well. However, you want to get your marketing message out in front of your market on a regular basis, so that when they are ready to make a buying decision, they will think of you and your business.
5. Consistency in marketing efforts builds the impression in your target market that you are trustworthy and dependable. They feel comfortable with you and your business.
One of the things that your target market wants to see from a provider when they are considering buying services is that you seem trustworthy and dependable. Marketing communicates those solid, comfortable feelings. When your prospects see your marketing message delivered in multiple ways over time, they come to trust you, and see you as a solid citizen in the community. They become comfortable with the idea of buying your service.
Random and occasional marketing will never bring your business the steady stream of new clients that you need. In fact, sporadic marketing is basically ineffective and virtually a waste of your time and efforts. It’s time to throw off this marketing delusion, and settle on a well thought out marketing plan and consistently execute it.
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.