Small-Business Marketing: Where to Start?
How should small businesses approach planning a new marketing venture? What's the absolute first question they should ask themselves when starting out? What's the one piece of information that will guide and shape the rest of their planning and make all the other details fall into place?
I ask because I had an interesting conversation this weekend with an acquaintance who is struggling with his own marketing. A salesman in his mid-30s , this acquaintance has doubled his sales for the last three years but knows that kind of growth can't happen forever without devoting some more serious attention to marketing. A loosely independent salesperson with no support staff or resources outside himself, he has to plan, budget and execute any and all marketing on his own, which was his whole problem.
Though he has done some light marketing in the past (direct mail if you're curious), he was completely overwhelmed by all the questions inherent in planning a new marketing campaign. And I do mean "completely overwhelmed," as in "no idea where to begin." Was the method most important? The budget? The target? He had no idea where to start his planning, so he was stuck frustratingly half-evaluating a few dozen different starting points without making any forward progress in improving his business.
I gave my own answer (which I think was the right one), but I'm curious to hear what you all think. So my question for you all, dear readers, is:
When you're planning a marketing campaign, what is the first question you ask? What information do you need to know before planning anything else?
Write back or comment and let me know what you think, thanks for reading, and see you all next week!
MONDAY MIKE FACT: I have recently acquired an iPad. It's one of the best toys I've gotten in a while, and I'm spending entirely too much money in the app store.