Very often we run into business owners that say they are doing marketing and start pulling out all the materials they have had created. After looking at the materials, we start noticing a common pattern. Every piece was designed as an individual piece with no regard as to a marketing strategy.
With more and more companies opening their doors for business, claiming to be marketing companies or being able to serve as your marketing department, small business owners are facing a whole new danger when trying to grow their business. Unfortunately many of these businesses are not marketing companies at all; rather they are graphic design companies using the word marketing to glorify what they really do. Let me explain this a little bit further so you as a small business owner understand what I mean.
Understanding how to market your business effectively and assisting you in your marketing effort is about much more than just designing a flyer, a logo or a website. In order to market your business, the marketing company first needs to understand how you do business and who you primarily do business with and what your overall strategy for growth is. Without that information a marketing company simply cannot help move your business forward. A good marketing will sit down with you and make sure they understand not only your business, but also your industry before they start designing anything. Having this understanding is the key to making any marketing material work.
So what are these glorified graphic designer really doing to your business and doing for you as a small business owner? The answer is simple; they are utilizing the fact that most small business owners do not understand the difference between a graphic designer and a marketing company. More and more companies are now utilizing template design, default copy and using the “one-size-fit-all” strategy for your business. This is of course very good for your current budget, but the question is what is it costing you long term? By utilizing cookie cutter designs, template marketing campaigns and designing websites that are nothing more than just a fancy brochure you are losing your identity instead of building it. Instead of doing effective marketing, you are now just doing in-effective marketing in a way that looks nicer.
Think about it, what is the difference between a developer and a builder? Have you ever driven down those streets where every house looks exactly the same, the only difference being the paint they put on the outside of the house, how much did the developer care about what you wanted or what would fit your needs for home? How is your house going to stand out? By painting it in bright colors? The builder on the other hand will work with you step by step, listening to what you want, what you need and then make suggestions and help you make what you want actually work in reality. By the time the builder is done, you will not only have a house that stands out but also fits with what you are looking for, that place you can call home.
So what is the solution for a small business owner trying to get ahead and wants to do some marketing? As simple as that questions sounds, the answer is not quite as simple. Marketing costs time or money, there is no way around that. But as a small business owner you also have to be smart about your marketing and what you spend your money. Start by picking the core pieces that will help build your brand and your business, spend a little more on those core pieces if you have to. This will give you a great foundation to work from, a strategy to work with and ideally help build your income as well as your business. With a well designed core, it is a lot easier to move your business forward and to grow it. Cookie cutter marketing pieces at rock bottom prices, which seem really tempting, can actually end up costing you more in the end, because it can actually hold your business back instead of help growing it. Before you start doing any kind of marketing, make sure you understand what is about to be created for your business, after all you are the one that has the most invested in your marketing material working like it should.