No marketing budget – no point


no marketing budgetThere are very few SME businesses who aren’t looking to grow, but let’s be honest up front: if you have no marketing budget you will commit to spending, there is no point in seeking professional help.

Let’s look at this in detail.

If you are looking for help to improve your business growth, something isn’t working right now.  This could be a number of things:

  1. Your marketing isn’t generating any leads
  2. You aren’t closing the leads you get from your marketing
  3. The business is losing clients as quickly as you add new ones, or
  4. You aren’t doing any marketing

All of these four issues need investment if they are to be fixed:

No Leads from your Marketing

The simplest issue here could be that you simply aren’t doing enough to generate the awareness you want within your target market.  That may be a simple volume thing: do more of what you are already doing.  The chances are that this is too simplistic.

You may be sending the wrong messages. This is one of the most common issues I see. The messages are usually product-related rather than about the client and what they will get out of using  your services.

You may be aiming at the wrong audience. Just because you want to sell into, for example, the financial services sector, doesn’t mean they want to buy from you.

The chances are that it is a combination of these.

Not closing your leads

There are number of potential problems here, starting with the simplest: your sales team cannot close.

Of course, the age-old argument will then rear its ugly head: Sales vs. Marketing. Both will say it is the other department’s fault. Is one or, indeed, either of them right?

Are you attracting the wrong leads?  If the top of your pipeline is full, but the bottom nearly empty, too many leads are being qualified out – by you or by them.

Losing Clients

Losing clients is a more complicated issue and could be that some people are too good at their jobs.  If Sales are excellent at closing, they may be selling something to the prospects rather than nothing.  They may be selling the wrong thing – because they don’t earn any commission if they don’t.

If we assume that your Sales team are honorable and won’t sell the wrong product, it is the delivery that is at fault.

Is it that the service simply isn’t good enough?

Is it that you aren’t helping your clients get the maximum benefit from your product or service? If they aren’t trained on how to use what you sell them, what can you expect?

No marketing at all

Surprisingly, this is the one that is least likely to be the case, but often what I hear from business owners. Every business owner and director is doing some marketing. Does this sound familiar? You may not be doing any formal marketing, but I guarantee you are networking and you are managing your clients with the aim of getting referrals and introductions.

All of the above have one thing in common: you need to work out what is not working and then develop a plan of action that will improve matters.  You have to invest in finding out what is wrong. You have to invest in providing the training to fix the skills gaps and then if you describe your issues as Nos. 1, 2 or 4, you have to invest in doing more or better.

Of course, if you are prepared to allocate a budget to your marketing, get in touch.