I’ve spent the better part of the last 10 years telling any small business owner that would listen that marketing isn’t really that complicated.
What’s complicated and frustrating about marketing perhaps is how small business owners and those that work in the field of marketing think about it.
Marketing is just a system and, operated as such; it isn’t any different from many of the other systems needed to run a business. A system creates control, a system guides priorities, a system creates process, a system generates accountability, and a way to measure and win the game.
I developed my view of “marketing as a system” after discovering that working with small business owners in the way I wanted wasn’t possible unless I was willing to change my view of marketing.
What I quickly discovered was it’s a two-way street. Marketing consultants are often frustrated because they have no system or methodology they can apply over and over again and small business owners are frustrated because there’s no logical way to buy marketing services from people pitching the idea of the week.
I had a large ad agency professional approach me recently and tell me about trying to help several of his family members find some marketing help for their startup. Because he had spent most of his life in six and seven-digit budget land, he was appalled at how hard it was to find help that made sense for this startup.
And that’s precisely the work I’ve been engaged in for over a decade – putting an end to marketing frustration – both on the part of marketing consultants and coaches and on the part of the tens of thousands of small business owners that have adopted some version of this systems approach to marketing.
For some, the concept of a system for marketing seems so still and uncreative, but for me, a system is how you Save YourSelf Time Energy and Money – corny, I know, but something we all need a little more of!
I’ve built a marketing system that gives relief to frustrated marketing consultants by way of the Duct Tape Marketing Network and provides real results for small business owners through the Duct Tape Marketing System.
Below is a very brief description of the elements of a marketing system
1) Strategy before tactics – create a narrowly defined strategy first
This is, without a doubt, the most crucial step. Strategy must come before any tactics. Until you can narrowly define your ideal client and uncover or create some way your business is both unique and remarkable, you’ll compete on price and struggle to build any sense of momentum. More on this . . .
2) Build your Marketing Hourglass – A marketing-focused business model
The next step involves what I call The Marketing Hourglass. This simple process asks you to view your business and discover how you will move your ideal prospects down the path of know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer. The beauty of this thinking is that it puts the focus on the end – a happy customer, willing to buy more and tell others. Get that part right, and you’ll never need to worry about lead generation in the same way again. More on this . . .
3) Become a publishing engine – Your content becomes the voice of strategy
Almost every element of the Marketing Hourglass relies on some form of intentional content to operate properly. In this step, business owners create their content plan with some very specific objectives in mind. More content is not the answer. The right content, delivered to the right person at the right time, is the answer. More on this . . .
4) Build a total online and offline presence – Integration is the key to success
Integration is what makes social media work. It’s what makes email marketing work, and it’s what drives effective advertising. Until you view your online and offline presence as one integrated whole, you’ll continue to fall prey to the idea of the week. Any decision on what to do on Facebook comes with content, SEO, email, and advertising implications as well. View it that way, and you’ll never wonder about ROI again. More on this . . .
5) Build a lead generation machine – Lead momentum comes from multiple streams of lead generation
Lead generation is a game of trust, context, and repetition. Advertising, public relations, and referral generation built around an effective marketing strategy is the secret to creating the right awareness with the right prospects. More on this . . .
6) Lead conversion is a system – Lead conversion as a repeatable sales process and customer experience
An effective marketing system, such as the one described above, is that it eliminates the need to sell – at least in the traditional sense of the word. When you educate, build trust, and create engagement, all that’s left to do is show prospects how they can get the result you’ve shown them. More on this . . .
7) Live by the calendar – You’re never done, simply operate the system over and over again
Once you build the various elements of your marketing system, you must map it out on a calendar, test, analyze, tweak and improve it continuously. For some, simply carving out the time to create new processes and putting in the effort to develop new marketing behaviors must become a habit before any progress can be made. It’s a long-term game, and you’re never done; just deal with it every day. More on this . . .
I’ve taken every element of this system and turned it into an online course that any business can apply to build a marketing system. Each element is presented in step-by-step lessons that include videos, workbooks, worksheets, examples, and resources. We continue to work on it and improve it and add to it as new tools and tactics arise.
Once you gain access to the Duct Tape Marketing System, you’ll be able to visit each lesson over and over again as you perfect your system and even use our materials to train and guide your marketing staff.