Your Marketing Stinks and It's Your Fault

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A little tough love today I guess, but the reason so many small businesses struggle is because they are unwilling to change. The marketing strategy, if there is one, is to do what everyone else in the industry seems to be doing. If that’s your marketing reality, that little safe place, and it’s not working, the first thing you have to come to grips with is that it is your fault.

But, but, but. . .

Okay, I’ll cut you some slack, I didn’t say that you wanted it this way, I just said that you’re the reason it is this way.

So, now I should explain. The only marketing strategy you need to worry about as a small business is to find a way to be unique. To offer something that is different, package a service like nobody thought of, focus on a tiny portion of a market or create an entirely new way of doing something. And then – communicate that and only that.

But there in lies the problem. What I just described means, for most small business owners, that you are going to have to be willing to change almost everything you do, the culture of your entire organization, the manner in which you get in the way and the constant chatter of doubt that is going on inside your head.

Think you can do that? I suggest that your business success depends on it. Create a strategy that allows you to stand out, put every message into communicating it and stick with it fearlessly.

Oh, and while you’re at it, could you unjam the copier?


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  1. The problem is not being unique… the problem is not executing on a basic “one size fits all” marketing plan.

    For example …. if a yellow pages ad says “24/7” and a potential client calls at say 7PM, and you get a message and NO call back EVER …

    many firms say “24 hours a day” some just don’t do it. If you have a modest plan, STICK TO IT.

  2. Love the blog, love the post!

    I would like to build on one comment you made, “The only marketing strategy you need to worry about as a small business is to find a way to be unique. To offer something that is different.”

    In addition to being unique I think we also need to find a way to make our message about the customer. Too much marketing is about how great the company (or the product, or the service) is. Don’t tell me how great YOU are, tell me why I should care. And if you can do that, you’ve got me!

    As Kathy Sierra over at “Creating Passionate Users” might say, how is your company/product/service going to help me “kick ass” (or at least make my day a little brighter or easier?) If you can’t answer that question, I’m not interested.

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